Richard Forster’s Graphite Realism

Hesser nude with tape, 2011
Richard Forster has his first solo exhibition up at FLAG Art Foundation, featuring three series of graphite drawings of incredible skill. These simulacrums of photographs resemble soft, serene Gerard Richter photo paintings. However, the small size of the works and trompe l’oeil details, through clever borders and watercolor tape effects, differentiates them, as does the overall effect of seeing them in a series.

One of the series, installation view above, depicts workers dismantling the Bauhaus, from archival footage. The subtle monochormatic grpahit of the palette, the close but faked realism/ photojournalism, and the perfection of the subtly drawn lines are calming and interesting at the same time.

His other two series come from vintage photogrpahs of naked woman, in a sort of Victorian style, and from aerial views of the coastline near the artist’s hometown, Saltburn-by-the Sea, England. The coastline drawings feel especially meditative, as if all the tiny strokes making them have been completed in a kind of trance. The exhibition is up at FLAG Art Foundation in Chelsea through May 19.
Incoming sea’s edge on fourteen consecutive occasions at random time intervals, Saltburn-by-the Sea, Jan 5 2010; 11:30am-11:37am

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