Denzil Forrester: A Survey

A survey exhibition of large-scale paintings from the past 40 years by Grenada born, British artist Denzil Forrester. Forrester’s first exhibition with the gallery includes new and historical work.

Forrester’s vibrant, colourful works immortalise the dynamic energy of the London reggae and dub nightclub scene during the early 1980s, a subject that has endured throughout four decades of the artist’s practice. Pulsating with rhythm, the artist’s expressive depictions of dance halls and clubs capture crowds of people moving in unison with the beat of the music and encircled by totemic sound systems. Flashes of vivid colour, gestural brushstrokes and frenetic compositions characterise his work.

Discussing the influence of this era on his practice, Forrester explains: “In 1980, I started going to all-night ‘blues’ clubs. The music playing in these clubs was reggae which generated particular dance movements and specialised clothing, all of which play an important part in my painting. In these clubs, city life is recreated in essence: sounds, lights, police sirens, bodies pushing and swaying back and forth. It’s a continuation of city life with some spiritual fulfilment. The idea of finding tranquil moments among a complex and cluttered environment is the basic structure for my paintings. The figures and images in my work are crowded together, whereas the spaces in-between echo the music of the ‘blues’ clubs, but are also reminiscent of the light that breaks through a forest, or the light that reflects from a nightclub’s mirrored ball.”

The exhibition precedes the unveiling of a large-scale public artwork commissioned by TFL for Brixton Underground Station, London, in September 2019. Forrester will have a major solo exhibition of new works at Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham opening in January 2020.

Duration 25 April 2019 - 25 May 2019
Times Denzil Forrester Stephen Friedman Galler
Cost Free
Venue Stephen Friedman Gallery
Address 25-28 Old Burlington Street, London, W1S 3AN
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