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.
Long before astronauts ventured into space, Michael Forster captured the shifting face of the universe. Inspired by the radiant patterns and incandescent depths of space, Forster created rich abstract compositions that reflected the infinite movements and galactic terrains of space. Such resultant works are unique and place Forster in a class by himself. His passion for color as seen in
Woodpecker's Joy is evident. As the German art historian Paul Westheim once remarked about Forster:
"Colour is the medium of his expression, he has reduced all that is visible, all that is imaginable to colour, a strange and fantastic world of visionary colour. By means of colour, he knows how to give form to a whole range of emotions and feelings."
Messum's, London, 2-26 October, 2013