This retrospective of the famed Canadian painter Tom Forrestall traces the story of the development of Forrestall's art from the time he entered Mount Allison University in the late 1950s up to the present. Forming part of a coterie of “magical realist” east-coast painters that includes Alex Colville, Christopher Pratt, and Mary Pratt. This attractive volume presents the range, depth, and poetry of Forrestall's work. It explores the development of his characteristic “magic realist” style and the genesis of his shaped paintings; the use of the egg tempera technique, its origins, limitations, and unique properties; the choice of subject matter and its relationship to defining a poetry of place; the artist's spirituality as expressed directly and symbolically in the imagery; the relationship of sketchbooks and personal written reflections to the paintings; and the place of his art in relation to analogous contemporary movements in Canada, the US, and Europe.
Historical facts, critical opinions, anecdotes, artist writings and statements, and Tom Smart's own analysis of the work are combined in a story that illuminates the artist's work for readers while also providing several different and appropriate contexts for appreciating it.
Since very little of substance has been written about Tom Forrestall, this book is the first to introduce the breadth and depth of his long artistic career to a wide readership and adds a significant chapter to our understanding of Canadian art in the twentieth century.