"I paint because it creates a sense of joy, of relief during that original confrontation with reality. The act of painting is in itself a way to sustain that emotion of the mind and heart. Through my work I try to build a similar response in
-Tom Forrestall, 1976, from Tom Forrestall: Paintings, Drawings, Writings
Forrestall’s images of Atlantic Canadian rural landscapes are infused with a mystical, transcendent and fascinating quality. Through his characteristic
“magic realism” style and the use of shaped canvases, Forrestall combines reality, poetry, and a metaphysical dimension that transcends a spiritual and emotional energy to the viewer. The tensions between dream and reality – between life and art – are
what give his art its dynamism and power.
Forrestall’s creativity is expressed through three primary disciplines—drawing, painting, and writing. His drawings and paintings record his artistic vocabulary and capture his visions from his
imagination and the spirit of what he sees with his eyes. His writings explore and record ideas relating to his artistic and spiritual life, his family, and his surroundings, and probe the nature of his creativity, his hopes and dreams, and the source of
Tom Forrestall was born in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia on March 11th, 1936. He grew up in Middleton and Dartmouth and began to attend art classes at the Nova Scotia College in Halifax at an early age.|
In 1954 Forrestall was awarded an entrance scholarship to the Fine Arts Faculty at Mount Allison University from which he graduated in 1958. In the same year he received a Canada Council Grant for independent study (one of the first granted) and travelled throughout Europe. In 1959 he became the assistant curator of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and in 1960 received his first major commission -- a painting to be presented to Princess Margaret as a wedding gift from the Province of New Brunswick. Shortly thereafter, having supported himself in various related jobs, Forrestall began to devote himself full time to painting.
Forrestall is one of the leading figures associated with the visual arts in the Maritime region. His work has been exhibited and is represented in every major public collection the region and beyond, including numerous solo exhibitions in prominent galleries worldwide.
Tom Forrestall's work has been included in numerous group exhibitions in Canada and Europe including Colville, Forrestall, Pratt at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and Aspects of Realism, an exhibition of international art organized by Rothman's.
His work is reproduced in most histories of contemporary Canadian art and is featured in High Realism in Canada, the 1974 book by Paul Duval. Two monographs on his paintings and watercolours have been published: Shaped by this Land (1974) and Returning the Favour: Vision for Vision (1992) as well as many exhibition catalogues. Most recently, Tom Forrestall: Paintings, Drawings, Writings (2008) was published in conjunction with his retrospective at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
2011 Tom Forrestall: Master Works, Elliott Louis Gallery, Vancouver BC|
2010 Tom Forrestall: Paintings, Drawings, Writings - McMichael Canadian Art
Collection, Kleinburg, ON
2007 Retrospective, N.S Art Gallery
2005 Trinity Galleries, St John N.B
2004 Gallery 78, Fredericton
2004 Kinsman Robinson Galleries Toronto
2003 Kinsman Robinson Galleries Toronto
2003 Swiss Air 111 crash wreckage drawings, N.S Art Gallery
2003 Argyle Gallery, Halifax N.S
2002 Trinity Gallery
2001 Argyle Gallery, Halifax, N.S.
2001 Kinsman Robinson Galleries Toronto
2001 Gallery Trenta Dua, Milan
2000 Dartmouth Heritage Museum
1999 Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto
1999 Alderney Landing Gallery, Dartmouth
1998 Dalhousie Killam Library, special collection of Note Books
1998 Fog Forest Gallery
1998 Trinity Gallery, St John, N.B.
1997 One hundred miniatures, Forrestall Fine Art, Dartmouth N.S.
1996 Gallerie Dresdnere, Toronto
1995 Ring Gallery, St John, N.B.
1994 The Notebooks of Tom Forrestall, Dartmouth Heritage Museum, N.S.
1994 Tom Forrestall - A Decade, Galerie Dresdnere, Toronto
1993 Island in the Ice, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
1992 Ring Gallery, Saint John, N.B.
1991 Robertson Galleries, Ottawa
1990 Park Lane Gallery, Halifax
1989 Riverside Art Museum, Vero Beach, Florida
1986 Waddington-Gorce Gallery, Montreal
1985 Gallery 32, Milan
1984 Habemi Centre Gallery, Tel Aviv
1984 Galleria Trentadue, Milan
1983 Canadian Cultural Centre, Rome
1983 Madison Gallery, Toronto
1983 Shayne Gallery, Montreal
1982 Gallery 32, Milan
1982 MacDonald Museum, Middleton, N.S.
1982 Glen Gallery, Calgary
1982 Robertson Galleries, Ottawa
1981 National Museum of Art, Romania
1981 National Museum of Art, Cluj, Transylvania
1981 National Museum of Modern Art, Budapest
1981 Madison Gallery, Toronto
1980 Canada House - Belgium and England
1980 National Museum of Art, Sofia, Bulgaria
1980 Cardigan-Milne Gallery, Winnipeg
1980 Liverpool Academy of Art, England
1979 Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montreal
1979 Art Gallery of Hamilton, ON
1979 Glenbow Institute, Calgary
1979 Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon
1979 Art Gallery of Victoria, B.C.
1979 Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredricton
1979 Dartmouth Heritage Museum, N.S.
1979 MacDonald Museum, Middleton, N.S.
1978 Marlborough Godard Gallery, Toronto,
1978 West End Gallery, Edmonton
1977 Twenty Watercolours and Drawings, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia touring show
1976 Marlborough Gallery. New York
1975 Sir George Williams University, Montreal
1975 Hart House, University of Toronto, -
1975 Marlborough Godard Gallery, Toronto
1974 Art Gallery of Windsor, touring exhibition: Nova Scotia Museum
1972 Art Gallery of Windsor
1972 Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
1972 Winnipeg Art Gallery
1972 Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris
1972 Boston City Hall Art Gallery
1971 Forrestall: High Realism, organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and touring
to Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon; Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, B.C.
1970 Roberts Gallery, Toronto
1969 Walter Klinkhoff Gallery, Montreal
1968 Roberts Gallery, Toronto, Sir George Williams University, Montreal
1967 Walter Klinkhoff Gallery, Montreal
1966 Darmouth College Art Gallery, New Hampshire
1965 Roberts Gallery, Toronto
1961-63 University of New Brunswick, Mount Allison University, Dalhousie University.
Confederation Centre, New Brunswick Museum
2001 Forrestall/Boucher Art Sales and Rentals, Art Gallery of N.S. Commissions |
2001 Alfa chalk exhibition Argyle Fine Art Gallery Halifax
2000 Marion McCain Atlantic Art Exhibition, Beaverbook Art Gallery, Fredericton
1996 Corel Viva Les Arts, Ottawa
1996 Face Value, Nova Scotia Portraiture Art Gallery of N.S.
1996 Between Oceans and Land, Taipe: Taiwan
1997 Resurrection Atlantic school of Theology, Halifax
1998 Texture - Musée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal
1999 At the Great Harbour, The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
1999 Appearances of Reality, Wolfville
Archdiocese of Halifax
Art Gallery of Hamilton
Art Gallery of Mississauga
Art Gallery of Ontario
Art Gallery of Windsor
Atlantic School of Theology
Bank of Montreal
Bank of Nova Scotia
Beaverbrook Art Gallery
Canada Council Art Bank
CFB Halifax Officers' Mess
Dalhousie Art Gallery
IWK Health Centre
John F. Kennedy Library
K & D Industries
MacKenzie Art Gallery
Midland Walwyn Capital
Mount Allison University
Mount St. Vincent University
Musee d'art contemporain
National Gallery of Hungary
New Brunswick Legislature
New Brunswick Museum
Nova Scotia Legislature
Owens Art Gallery
Peerless Carpet Corporation
Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Public Works Canada
Rideau Hall; National Capital Commission
Royal Bank of Canada
2004 - Nominated for the Order of Nova Scotia|
2001 - Farm Credit Corporation
2001 - Board of Directors of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
2000 - Appointed to Board of Governors of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
2000 - Bell Canada Enterprises
1998 - 125th anniversary R.C.M.P Painting
1998 - Honorary governor of Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
1997 - Society of Tempera Painters Santa Fe, N.M
1996 - Canadian Fund National Capital Commission
1994 - Board of Directors Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
1993 - Board of Directors Robert Pope Foundation
1992 - received the 125th Anniversary of Canada Medal
1990 - painted portrait of Sir John Thompson for Public Works Canada
1987 - Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, Mount Allison University
1986 - painted portrait of Trudeau’s three sons, a gift from the nation to the former Prime Minister. Received the Order of Canada
1980 - Honorary Doctorate, University of King's College, Halifax 1979 - limited edition lithograph for the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
1977 - Queens Silver Jubilee Medal
1975 - Allied Arts Medal from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
1973 - R.C.A. (Member Royal Canadian Academy of Arts)
1972 - outdoor mural, Playhouse, Fredericton, N.B. – Secretary of State Citation from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
1971 - two sculptures for the Federal Building, Antigonish, N.S.
1967 - outdoor sculpture for the Atlantic Pavilion, EXPO
1965 - Bronze of Sir Winston Churchill for the lobby of the New Brunswick Legislative Building.
1964 - Bronze portrait of John F. Kennedy for the Memorial to him in Fredericton, N.B. (The plaster cast is housed at the Kennedy Library in Waltham, Mass.)