LondonRichard Forster: Notes on Architecture
Timothy Taylor presents Notes on Architecture, an exhibition of recent works by Richard Forster (b.1970), following the gallery’s recent announcement of representation.
Notes on Architecture – referencing the subversive writing of Georges Bataille – brings a collection of thirty-five individual drawings to London, made in the artist’s Yorkshire studio between 2016 and 2018. Forster creates a labyrinth of associations between different historical sources – offering a pertinent and timely perspective on the fractious socio-political climate of today’s rapidly changing world. Small and intimate in scale, Forster uses everyday materials such as pencil, paper and masking tape to intensively record the cyclical nature of time through the fragile and ephemeral medium of drawing.
Upon first inspection, the works appear almost photo-realistic, resembling trompe l’oeil archival materials such as newspaper clippings and photographs. On closer viewing – the compulsively rendered works break down into abstract mark-making, combining collaged elements with found surfaces – to create subtle tonal shifts and textures. Each work takes one to three weeks to complete, and are shown here in chronological sequence. The intense rigor and scrutiny required of each work demonstrates Forster’s interest in texture, finish, pattern, and feeling – allowing the viewer to engage with the tentative and exploratory process of drawing itself.
Using architecture as a basis for his enquiry, Forster draws connections between pre-planned suburban housing developments in the former German Democratic Republic and Levittown on Long Island, New York . These references are combined with disparate and personal cultural references to the 1894 silent film Annabelle Butterfly Dance, the iconic sign outside the now-defunct Better Days nightclub in New York City and the Music Box, a Chicago house music club. The cumulative effect of these works process Forster’s personal and contrary experiences of the world, carefully documenting the nature of time and its passing.
The series was previously exhibited earlier this year at the FLAG Art Foundation in New York.
Based in Yorkshire, Forster studied at Manchester Polytechnic before gaining an MA at the University of East London in 1995. Forster’s work has been included in exhibitions shown at Tate Britain (London), FLAG Art Foundation (New York), The Drawing Centre (New York) and the De La Warr Pavilion (Bexhill-on-Sea).
Richard Forster’s work is included in permanent collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA; Tate, UK; The Flag Foundation, USA; Zabludowizc Collection, UK; Government Art Collection, UK; Lodeveans Collection, UK; New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK; Rhode Island School of Design, USA; UBS, UK; and Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK.
Courtesy of the artist and Timothy Taylor, London/New York