Andrew Forge: A Retrospective

Wednesday, May 15, 1996
Sunday, July 14, 1996

This retrospective, an exhibition of fifty paintings and several works on paper chosen by Andrew Forge, marked several “firsts” in Forge’s long and distinguished career. It provided the first presentation of the progression of the artist’s work from the landscapes and figurative paintings of the 1950s to the “dot” paintings that engaged him from the sixties through the nineties. And, although Forge had shown regularly during the previous decade, the Center’s retrospective was the first exhibition to show together many of his larger works, including the eleven canvases of the Months series.

In 1994, Forge retired after giving more than twenty years of distinguished service to the School of Art at Yale, ten of them as the dean. Born in 1923 in Kent, England, he studied between 1947 and 1949 at Camberwell School of Art, where William Coldstream, Victor Pasmore, Lawrence Gowing, and Kenneth Martin all taught at the time. In 1950 he joined the staff of the Slade School of Fine Art in London and, from 1961 onwards, was a member of the London Group. During the same years, he emerged as the leading art critic, whose weekly reviews in the New Statesman commanded respect internationally. But if Forge allowed himself to be described as a “painter, art critic, and teacher,” it is as a painter that he wished to be seen. 

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Center published an illustrated catalogue that included critical essays by the poet John Hollander and the cognitive psychologist Michael Kubovy.

¬ Entrance Court, Yale Center for British Art, Photograph by Richard Caspole