Betty Cuningham Gallery is pleased to present an abbreviated version of the exhibition Andrew Forge, The Limits of Sight which was curated by Karen Wilkin and originated at Fairfield University Art Museum in the Fall of 2020. The exhibition focuses on Forge’s mature work, completed after his move from London to the US in the early seventies. This iteration of the exhibition includes 15 paintings and 6 works on paper dating from 1973 – 2002. It marks Forge’s fourth exhibition with the Gallery. An online viewing room will accompany the exhibition.
Following his arrival in the United States, Forge met many artists who would be influential in his career but none more so than Robert Rauschenberg. He wrote later that it was Rauschenberg who seemed to have a “very vivid correspondence with my sense of the world, with my sense of reality.” He never felt his painting resembled Rauschenberg’s, but he was interested in how Rauschenberg juxtaposed radically different pieces on his canvas. This serendipitous juxtaposition excited Forge as it broke out of the mode of language. One dot on a white canvas and then another dot, each introduced a new dynamic. The dots were as concrete to Forge as collaged images or hanging tires were to Rauschenberg. In the catalogue, Wilkin goes on to say, “Their spatial mobility and their sense of pulsing light combine to make the dot paintings both irresistible and elusive. They appear to test the limits of sight. We yield to the allure of their atmospheric orchestrations of color, yet we are not quite certain that we are really perceiving them.”
Andrew Forge (1923-2002) was born in Kent, England and spent much of his early career exhibiting and teaching in London. He moved to the United States in the early 1970’s and resumed teaching. He taught at Cooper Union, The New York Studio School and Yale University School of Art, where he served as Dean from 1975-1983. From 1994 – 2000, Forge was the Senior Critic for the University of Pennsylvania Department of Art and from 1999 – 2000 he was the Artist-in-Residence at Dartmouth College. His work can be seen in the collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Yale University, New Haven, CT; The Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT; The Tate Gallery, London; and the Arts Council of Great Britain, among others. Forge’s awards include: John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (1980), The American Academy of Arts and Institute of Letters, Painting Prize (1990), Distinguished Teaching of Art Award, College Art Association (1995). In addition to his primary career as a painter, Forge was also a celebrated writer.
The exhibition will remain on view through July 30, 2021 and will be accompanied by an Online Viewing Room. The Catalogue from Fairfield University Art Museum will be available at the Gallery.