Part of the vibrant next generation of Saskatchewan's abstract painters, Jonathan Forrest’s boldly coloured acrylic paintings playfully reference post-war abstract painting. But instead of introspectively exploring the canvas, Forrest’s layered works lift from the surface, tactfully invading the viewers' space.
Jeffrey Spalding describes Forrest’s paintings in a Canadian Art Review:
“Seen in the flesh, the paintings are physical wonders...Surfaces lavished with built-up layers of icing-cake impasto ooze tantalizingly over the edges. Other areas are scraped right back to a residual stained ground. Slabs of clean line and hard-edged painterly slivers of varying thicknesses have the appearance that their corners have been folded over, origami gone mad...”
In the context of a history of painting defined by flatness, Forrest re-invents the idea of contemporary prairie painting. His multi-layered works play within the limitations of a flat surface while opening up new possibilities for spatial composition.
Born in 1962, Edinburgh, Scotland, Jonathan Forrest received both his Bachelors and Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan. He also attended the Emma Lake Artist’s Workshop and became an organizer in 2001. His work had been widely exhibited within Canada and can be found in many public collections including: the Canada Council’s Art Bank, University of Saskatchewan and the Art Gallery of Alberta.