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Sunday, September 8, 2002

Sunday September 8, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:24 PM

ART WARS of September 8, 2002:

Sunday in the Park with Forge

From The New York Times obituary section of Saturday, September 7, 2002:

Andrew Forge, 78, Painter
and a Former Dean at Yale, Dies

By ROBERTA SMITH

Andrew Forge, a painter, critic, teacher and former dean of painting at the Yale School of Art, died on Wednesday [Sept. 4] in New Milford, Conn. He was 78…

[As a painter] he reduced his formal vocabulary to two small, basic units: tiny dots and short, thin dashes of paint that he called sticks. He applied those elements meticulously, by the thousands and with continual adjustments of shape, color, orientation and density until they coalesced into luminous, optically unstable fields.

These fields occasionally gave hints of landscapes or figures, but were primarily concerned with their own internal mechanics, which unfolded to the patient viewer with a quiet, riveting lushness. In a New York Times review of Mr. Forge’s retrospective at the Yale Center for British Art in 1996, John Russell wrote that “the whole surface of the canvas is mysteriously alive, composing and recomposing itself as we come to terms with it.”

Above: Untitled image from Andrew Forge: Recent Paintings, April 2001, Bannister Gallery, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI

See also

An Essay on the work of Andrew Forge
by Karen Wilkin
in The New Criterion, September 1996

From that essay:

“At a recent dinner, the conversation—fueled, I admit, by liberal amounts of very good red wine—became a kind of Socratic dialogue about the practice of art criticism…. There was… general agreement that it’s easier to find the rapier phrase to puncture inadequate or pretentious work than to come up with a verbal equivalent for the wordless experience of being deeply moved by something you believe to be first rate.”

See also my journal note of March 22, 2001, The Matthias Defense, which begins with the epigraph

Bit by bit, putting it together.
Piece by piece, working out the vision night and day.
All it takes is time and perseverance
With a little luck along the way.
— Stephen Sondheim

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