Tom Forrestall, Master Works
Press Release

Thursday September 7, 2011 until October 1st, 2011

The Elliott Louis Gallery

258 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver

Release September 7, 2011 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(VANCOUVER, BC – September 15, 2011)


When we think of magic realism in Canada, Alex Colville, Christopher and Mary Pratt and Tom Forrestall, all Maritime painters, immediately come to mind. Elliott Louis Gallery offers us a unique opportunity to view a significant collection of Forrestal master works, dating from the mid-1980's to present, for the first time on the West Coast.

Tom Smart, CEO of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the author of Tom Forrestall: Paintings, Drawings, Writings explains, "He records visions emanating from his imagination and he clothes them in garments of the familiar."

This collection offers 22 of Forrestall's signature egg tempera paintings and 17 of his luscious watercolours; his primary mediums. We see the development of Forrestall's characteristic "magic realism" style and the genesis of his shaped paintings; the choice of subject matter and its relationship to defining the poetics of place.

"Watercolours are the most enjoyable side of painting," says Forrestall. The egg temperas evolve from the watercolours. He once wrote on the back of a small still life that his paintings represent "a truer realism that comes from within." Forrestall's watercolours are quick and immediate works typically painted en plein air; whereas, his temperas are careful and deliberate creations from his imagination. For the most part, Forrestall chooses unconventional shapes for his temperas rejecting the more familiar rectangle. These "shaped paintings" begin their journey as quick sketches, simple outlines in the artist's sketchbook which are fabricated into panels by a local artisan. Forrestall seals the panels with gesso using an age-old recipe of whitener and rabbit skin glue. Then the panels sit and wait, at times piled five deep in the studio, until the artist's vision takes hold.

The exhibition is open to view now until October 1st; the opening reception with artist in attendance is September 15th from 6:30 to 9:00pm. Mr. Forrestall will also deliver a free talk on Saturday, September 17th at 1:00pm at the Elliott Louis Gallery at which time he will demonstrate the classical technique of egg tempera painting. The book Tom Forrestall: Paintings, Drawings, Writings is available for purchase, and the artist will autograph it for you. This is an extraordinary opportunity to view, learn, meet and purchase a part of Canadian art history.

Media Contact

Ted Lederer, Gallery Owner, Tel: 604.736.3282, Email: