Jonathan Forrest : Exhibitions

Colour Coherence

May 24 - June 09, 2018

from 7 - 9 pm Artist in attendance


A Conversation with Colour

May 26 - June 14, 2016

In “A Conversation with Colour”, Jonathan Forrest brings us bold abstractions with a sense of wit. Using a fresco-like approach – troweling wet bright colour into a wet grey undercoat of thick paint – he creates unique chromatic gradients, set proud against vividly washed grounds.

“My work is a combination of intuitive responses to the world around me, an ongoing dialogue with contemporary and historical painting, and an enthusiastic immersion in the material process of making objects … I come from a history of modernist painting rooted in abstract expressionism and colour-field painting. That past informs my work and acts as a springboard, but there is a friction between that past and working in today’s contemporary art world that generates a spark that pushes the work forward. Past perceived rules and self-imposed constraints fall away and increasingly I embrace an open, playful and searching studio practice.”

Forrest divides his time between Vancouver Island and small town Saskatchewan. The majority of the works in this exhibition were painted over the summer and fall of 2015 at his “rustic” studio in rural Saskatchewan. An old church built in the late 1940s, the studio offers “a space removed from the world, an ideal place to lose [himself] in the work.”

Forrest studied at the University of Saskatchewan, receiving his BFA in 1983 and his MFA in 1991. Over the past 20 years Jonathan has both participated in and coordinated several artists' workshops including the popular Emma Lake Artists' Workshop in rural Saskatchewan. His work has been exhibited in commercial art galleries across Canada, as well as in public galleries such as the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, and the Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina. Jonathan’s paintings are in numerous collections across Canada including Canada Council / Art Bank, Dunlop Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Alberta, Glenbow Museum, Mendel Art Gallery, Moose Jaw Art Museum, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Saskatchewan Arts Board, University of Lethbridge, and University of Saskatchewan.


Best Foot Forward

October 06 - October 23, 2012

With the dynamic imagery of Jonathan Forrest’s vertical bursts, “Best Foot Forward” features a cast of bold, quirky, and playful characters. Over the past few years, these graphic anthropomorphic shapes have become the basis for Forrest’s joyful and often humorous approach to abstraction. Created from thick, yet smoothly articulated planes of acrylic in relief against a flat ground, the burst acts as a foundation for Forrest’s ongoing exploration of the complexities of colour and paint application. With seemingly endless variations of transparent to opaque colour, of the figure’s placement on the canvas, and of gesture within the central form, each painting is imbued with a distinct personality.

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Mind Over Matter

November 06, 2010

The playful abstract work of Jonathan Forrest combines a boundless energy with vibrant and engaging colour. His bold geometric forms burst off the canvas with his reimagining of impasto painting techniques. By building up smooth layers of paint in isolated sections of the image, Forrest adds a unique physical dimension to his canvas.

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