Framed: 43 1/8 x 54 5/8 inches
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.
Painted in 1988, Untitled places a special focus on the supremacy of color. This all-absorbing passion for color has resulted in a magnificent gestural picture with an intense color palette. A proponent of early Surrealism, Forster placed an emphasis on the unconscious life of the artist in his perceptive sensual application of paint. Forster's further concern for the essence of paint itself led him to create mesmerizing surface textures seen in our example that were deeply personal for Forster and full of emotion. The floating forms that seem almost to dance in this picture bear a close resemblance to Rufino Tamayo's works especially through the all-enveloping, deep, full, and impressive array of colors.
Messum's, London, 2-26 October, 2013