Portfolio by Richard Forster

BOMB 119 Spring 2012
Issue 119 119  Cover Replacement

Brooklyn Public Library Presents 
LitFilm: A Film Festival About Writers

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Richard Forster. Incoming Sea’s Edge, Jan 5, 2010 11:30–11:37 AM, graphite and acrylic on card, 14 parts, 17 7/10 × 11 4/5” each. Image courtesy of the artist and the Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh.

Richard Forster’s drawings have an extraordinary purity. He works with absolute rigor and seriousness to create images which are instantly startling in the display of an exquisite talent, and then begin to repay the most careful and detailed scrutiny. He is interested in texture, finish, pattern, and essence, but also in allowing the viewer to experience the very process of drawing itself, its tentative and exploratory nature. His surfaces are thus deeply ambiguous in that they have a luscious, almost luxurious interest in tonal variety, and they also manage to be spare, almost severe. Forster is interested in time, setting himself a measure of time, usually a week, to make a drawing, and then capturing what happens in time—how the sea surges and withdraws in time, how building work is done in time, how the drawing itself freezes and evokes a moment in time. He plays with the hard-edged line, with the torn line, and with layers of remove and engagement, both technical and emotional. His work makes clear that he has put a great deal of thought into how to manage beauty; he makes images that resist its soft, easy sway, but seem filled with a strange sorrow which makes the afterglow of these drawings extremely powerful.

— Colm Tóibín

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Richard Forster. Nude with pattern (Superimposition), 2011, graphite, acrylic medium, and watercolor on Bristol board, 13 7/10 × 8 4/5”.

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Richard Forster. Twenty–Four Stills from archival video witnessed in Bauhaus, Dessau, January 7, 2010, graphite and acrylic medium on card, 24 parts, 17 7/10 × 11 4/5”.

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Richard Forster. Twenty–Four Stills from archival video witnessed in Bauhaus, Dessau, January 7, 2010, graphite and acrylic on card, 24 parts, 17 7/10 × 11 4/5”.

This issue of First Proof is funded, in part, by Amazon, the Bertha and Isaac Liberman Foundation, and the Thanksgiving Fund.

Additional funding is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and readers like you.

Colm Tóibín by Lynne Tillman
Colm Tói­bí­n 01
On the Clock with Amanda Ross-Ho by John Yau
Amanda Ross Ho 01

The gallery as studio.

Phylum by Rita Bullwinkel
Samara Golden Whitney Banner

I was the type of man who got his ears cleaned. I was the type of woman who didn’t like dogs. We lived together in a house on a street that was the color of asphalt. I told you what I thought of you.

One Poem by Max Ritvo
Max Ritvo One Poem Banner

I remember your torso locked in a twill shell. / I remember the same rotating body bare. / Is my sadness ever any different?

Originally published in

BOMB 119, Spring 2012

Featuring interviews with Charles Long, Liz Deschenes, Ariana Reines and K8 Hardy, Heidi Julavits and Fiona Maazel, Nicolás Pereda and Gerardo Naranjo, Mohen Namjoo and Shirin Neshat, Dean Moss and Young Jean Lee, and Ingo Schulze. 

Read the issue
Issue 119 119  Cover Replacement