Andrew Forge

Watercolor on paper 
14.5 x 10 inches
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Courtesy of Betty Cuningham Gallery, New York

Forge was a charismatic teacher, critic, and scholar. Among many artists about whom he wrote persuasively, Monet and Bonnard are most instructive in relation to his own work. He was a professor and dean at Yale University and taught at  the New York Studio School, Cooper Union, Dartmouth College among others.

In his early career, in England, he enjoyed success as a figurative realist in the tradition of his teacher, William Coldstream. His embrace of abstraction in the 1960s came as a shock. What his fastidiously observed realism and intuitive abstraction have in common are the painterly virtues of slowness, fidelity, and thought. He was a friend and devotee of Alberto Giacometti and clearly shared his almost masochistic sense that truth is mortgaged to effort. There is a cult of the “hard won image” among School of London realists like Frank Auerbach and Lucian Freud — artists, incidentally, for whom Forge curated an important group exhibition at Yale in 1981 — which he clearly is part of.

You can see more of Andrew’s work here.


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