Untitled (seascape)

3 October - 22 November 2008
Richard Forster’s drawings are of an instant in the spreading tide line of surf; the swift gliding of the collapsed wave is fully alive; one seems to feel the slippery water, tepid to the touch, the moment is both enshrined and indifferent; the event is endless. The tidal scene is transcribed by the act of drawing in minute, meticulous detail. The white water of approaching waves gives way in middle distance to the delicate, medieval tracery of foam – we might be looking at an old photograph, of a turning tide from decades ago. For Forster, within the act of drawing, in such detail, an event of infinite variation, there are two achievements: one artistic, one philosophical, each entwined with the other. In touch, tone and temper, Forster’s drawings of the sea inspire both contemplation and wonder: their fidelity to nature seems to edify the viewer. And then, in their relation between subject and technique, these drawings see also to describe worm holes through time. What’s the date again?

From Michael Bracewell’s introduction to the catalogue published to accompany Richard Forster’s exhibition.

This is Richard Forster's first solo exhibition in Scotland. From June to September this year, he has made a series of 45 painstakingly detailed, almost photographic pencil drawings of the sea which circumnavigate our upper gallery space. These tiny, mysterious images combine to create an installation with an overwhelming physical presence, shifting from light to dark and from hyper-real to grainy abstraction. Cumulatively, they present a very personal document of many months’ intensive work, whilst simultaneously exploring a more universal experience: the constant but ever-changing nature of the sea.

Forster's work is informed by social, cultural and art historical concerns and takes many different forms. Graphite drawings co-exist with sculptural objects and installations manufactured in glossy, artificially-coloured and functional materials, but rather than seeing these as separate entities from different spheres, Forster uses each to inform the other, both quietly questioning our understanding of what is real.

Richard Forster has been shortlisted for the Northern Art Prize 2008 and an exhibition of the 4 finalists' work will be shown at Leeds Art Gallery from 21 November 2008 until 1 February 2009.

To mark this extraordinary group of drawings, Ingleby Gallery has published a new artist’s book in our ongoing series containing images of each drawing and a specially commissioned text by Michael Bracewell.

A special edition has also been published in an edition of 20 containing a new signed and numbered photopolymer etching by Forster. These are £350 each.