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Indepth Arts News:

"Roy De Forest: Painting the Big Painting"
2009-01-08 until 2009-02-28
Brian Gross Fine Art
San Francisco, CA, USA United States of America

Painting the Big Painting, an exhibition of paintings, drawings and a wall sculpture by Roy De Forest, (1930-2007) opens at Brian Gross Fine Art on Thursday, January 8, with a reception from 5:30-7:30pm. This will be the first San Francisco exhibition of work by Roy De Forest since his death in May 2007. A long-time UC Davis professor and cohort of artists such as Robert Arneson and William T. Wiley, De Forest's paintings resonate with bright colors, thick paint and mixed media depicting storybook, folk-like landscapes of dogs, horses, birds and people. The exhibition will continue through February 28, 2009.

Recognized as one of the most original painters of his generation, Roy De Forest's unique and beloved viewpoint can be seen in the selection of paintings to be displayed. Painting the Big Painting, 1993, the title painting of the exhibition, will feature prominently. Here, De Forest makes art historical reference to Picasso's renowned Les Demoiselles d'Avignon with stylized women figures, while depicting himself with paintbrush and palette in hand, paying homage to a painters' never-ending quest to create a masterpiece.

North of Patagonia, 2004-2005, is a quintessential example of De Forest's talent. His signature use of mixed media and the De Forest "kiss," small dabs of paint applied to the canvas directly from the paint tube, along with an artist-made frame with quirky, sculptural elements, are all a part of this major work. By contrast, Tom Swift and his Airplane Dirigible, 1966, represents a rare earlier example of De Forest's oeuvre, featuring the depiction of a fantastical flying machine placed in a colorful, outlandish landscape that is an explosion of color and pattern. One of De Forest's rare wall reliefs and a selection of his well-known drawings from various decades of his career are among the other works to be included in the exhibition.

Born in North Platte, Nebraska, in 1930, Roy De Forest received his MA from San Francisco State College, 1958, and taught at UC Davis from 1965 to 1982. His work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and Europe and is represented in numerous major public collections, including Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Denver Art Museum; the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Philadelphia Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; San Jose Museum of Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Roy De Forest will be the focus of a comprehensive retrospective at the San Jose Museum of Art in 2012, with a catalogue to be produced by UC Press.

Roy De Forest
Painting the Big Painting, 2008
acrylic on canvas
60 x 48 inches

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