Born in India, educated in England, and a citizen of Canada, Michael Forster had international artistic roots, making it difficult to place his body of work in any one artistic movement or category. The supremacy of color was paramount to Forster, who here subtly blended layers of paint into gently refined compositions. His rich variations, luminous passages and inherent brilliant surface textures remain compelling even in his smaller works. Coupled with Forster's dexterous handling of paint, the richness of his colors make his works truly exceptional. Such varied and richly abstracted pictures place Forster as a stand-out amongst his contemporaries. He remained active in Canada for more than forty-five years and contributed substantially to the role in the cultural history of Canadian art. A frequent exhibitor with the major art societies by the 1930s, and with several of his paintings in the country's major museum collections at an early age by the 1940s, Forster is an artist with a unique and important place in the annals of contemporary art that reaches beyond international borders.
To Celebrate A Childhood-The Rains pulses with rhythmic movement. There are faint suggestions of dancing figures or forms that have been blended into a vibrantly textured haze, reminiscent of the Surrealist works of his close friend Rufino Tamayo from the years Forster spent in Mexico. Forster in this example has carefully built up his colors layer by layer until the lustrous surface is complete. All of the introspections, musings, and nostalgic remembrances of the artist are on display. The title potentially harkens back to Forster's childhood spent in India, known to experience torrential downpours of rain that often result in floods of epic proportions. The allusion to rain is further enhanced by the choice of a blue-green palette with the slight incursion of yellow that potentially reflects the optimistic hope for the returning sunshine. Here there are no evident forms. Rather the color has become the form, suggesting the mood, the time, and the atmosphere.