Artist: Roy De Forest
Venue: Parker Gallery, Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: Works on Paper
Date: April 14 – May 25, 2019
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Parker Gallery, Los Angeles
Parker Gallery is proud to present the first survey of works on paper by Roy De Forest. Spanning nearly forty years, this exhibition traces the trajectory of the artist’s unwavering dedication to drawing. The exhibition includes fifteen works ranging in date from 1965 to 2003: beginning with wispy, topographical abstractions in colored pencil and culminating in clamorous, quilt-like compositions depicting human and animal figures, framed in elaborate wooden frames articulated with round nodules and the occasional figurehead.
The earliest drawings by De Forest are almost entirely abstract; featuring forms that alternately reference wagon wheels and bits of machinery, in compositions that recall an aerial view of a baroque garden. The figure is first introduced through a pointing finger, as if the artist were reaching out from behind the page to direct our eye. In the 1970s, De Forest began to use a window motif to lend transparency to solid animal form, revealing hidden interior chambers or offering glimpses of an alternate dimension. After acquiring several industrial air guns in the 1980s, De Forest started to color his drawings and frames with sprays of acrylic paint. The frames became more sculptural and integral to the drawing, outfitted with hand-carved decorative elements and found objects such as hooks and drawer pulls.
For De Forest, drawing was an intuitive and explosive act, driven by spontaneous experimentation with an array of tools and techniques. The relentlessly inventive scenarios committed to the page and canvas represent a staggeringly independent personal vision. This survey of works on paper reveals the artist as a consummate draftsman, enthralled by the endless possibilities of making marks on paper.
Roy De Forest (b. 1930, North Platte, NE; d. 2007, Vallejo, CA). Select solo exhibitions include Of Dogs and Other People: The Art of Roy De Forest, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA (2017), Brian Gross Fine Art, San Francisco, CA (2006-present), George Adams Gallery, New York, NY (1996-2008), Stanford Museum of Art, Stanford, CA (1990), Galerie Darthea Speyer, Paris, France (1973-87), Allan Frumkin Gallery, New York/Chicago (1966-85), Roy De Forest Retrospective, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, (traveling, 1974-75), Hansen Fuller Gallery, San Francisco, CA (1971- 78) and Dilexi Gallery, San Francisco, CA (1960-67). Select public collections include the Whitney Museum of American Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Yale University Art Gallery, UC Berkeley Art Museum, the Walker Art Center and Centre Georges Pompidou.