Chuck Forsman : Markers
Mar 20 – May 10, 2014
For over four decades, celebrated Colorado artist, Chuck Forsman has been a pioneer in exploring compelling environmental themes within his masterful paintings and distinctive photography. Serious-minded subject matter, driven by questions of land-use issues primarily within the western United States, Forsman is sensitive toward locating the personal view. If not positioning an individual figure as witness at the foreground of a work, then a lone animal or bird holds the space, to survey the view of a dramatic landscape imposed upon by recreational use or by industry via a dam, strip mine or the like. This constant theme in the artist’s work has resulted in distinguishing Forsman as being among the first contemporary artists to link landscape painting and environmental issues. He is recognized for challenging the typical or more palatable view of the American West – with its overly romanticized perceptions – and noted for his dedication to the quest of awakening a new view of the landscape and our relationship to it. Each skilled, often abstracted and rich brushstroke by the artist reveres the land while highlighting the tension between development and preservation and the contradictions within American culture itself.
The dramatic, new and recent large-scale paintings by Chuck Forsman transition into his latest body of work in photography. The sites addressed in this series from Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater to Arizona’s Coolidge Dam to California’s White Mountains locate the viewer while serving to illuminate the imagined landscape in between. The artist’s Robischon Gallery exhibition on view is in conjunction with Forsman’s current photography exhibition at the Denver Art Museum entitled Seen in Passing: Photographs by Chuck Forsman through May 25, 2014.
The paintings of Chuck Forsman can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Wichita Art Museum, Knoxville Museum of Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Yellowstone Art Museum and the Whitney Gallery of Western Art at the Buffalo Bill Historic Center, among others. A two-time recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, Forsman’s work has toured such venerable institutions as the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. A former professor of Fine Art at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Forsman is the author of Western Rider: Views from a Car Window, Arrested Rivers and Along the Buddha’s River co-created with his daughter, Shannon Forsman. His most recent publication is Walking Magpie: On and Off the Leash.