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Art General

Tom Forrestall

Paintings, Drawings, Writings

by (author) Tom Smart

Key Porter Books
Initial publish date
Jul 2008
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2008
    List Price

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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.

About the author

Tom Smart is the Executive Director and CEO of the McMichael Canadian Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, and the President of the McMichael Canadian Art Foundation. For seven years he was Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he developed an ambitious international exhibition program, and at the same time, he was appointed a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. He served as Acting Director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery from 1997 until 1999 and was Curator of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton from 1989 to 1997. Smart is the author of nine books and catalogues. His most recent book is the critically acclaimed Alex Colville: Return, which moved criticism of Colville's works to a new intellectual level. His 1995 book The Art of Mary Pratt: The Substance of Light won the Atlantic Provinces Booksellers Association Booksellers Choice Award, the Studio Magazine Award of Merit, and the Printing Industries of America Award of Merit. It was included in Great Canadian Books of the Century.

Tom Smart's profile page

Other titles by Tom Smart