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Archie Forrest is Scotland`s leading contemporary Colourist painter and has been exhibiting at Portland Gallery since the late 1980s. Forrest`s sensuous use of paint and wonderful consistency of quality means that he is seen as the natural successor to the early twentieth century Colourists, Peploe and Cadell and to Anne Redpath. Forrest is, however, much more than a follower in these Scottish footsteps; his work draws on his study of a huge cross-section of old and modern masters but perhaps the most strongest and most obvious influences have been the vibrant works of Matisse, Soutine and, of course, Cezanne.
Born in Glasgow in 1950, Forrest attended Glasgow School of Art between 1969 and 1973 prior to becoming a tutor there for seven years. In 1985, he gave up his teaching so that he could devote his time to painting. Forrest was elected a Member of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1988 and has been a regular exhibitor there and at the Royal Scottish Academy since 1975. He has won numerous awards for both his painting and sculpture. Examples of his work can be found in private and corporate collections worldwide.
One of the strengths of Forrest`s painting is its reassuring consistency. Forrest is totally uncompromising in the standards which he sets himself; so much so that it is not unusual for days and sometimes weeks of work on a canvas to be dismissed and a painting taken back to its starting point because it has not worked. It is through this very exacting process that the depth of the work is achieved. Take a close look at a Forrest oil painting and you will see the build up of a whole range of intermingled colours that have been laid onto the canvas, scraped back, added to, scraped back again - and the process continues until Forrest is satisfied that he has achieved the desired effect. Whether in landscape, still life or figure painting, Forrest has the ability to use the language of paint to devastating effect; as one admirer remarked, he creates electricity with paint."
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