As a painter, Forrestall is as deeply interested in how we see as in what we see. He knows that as viewers, each of us brings to works of art both our conscious skills and ideas and our own range of subjective experience, of which we are only partly aware. Sometimes in approaching contemporary works of realism, we are tempted to puzzle out specific narratives or to read finite symbolic meanings into objects. Such calculated exercises in interpretation will always lead us astray. Paintings such as Forrestall's elude interpretation. They are not containers for meaning. Their truth resides in their stillness and in their ability to inspire stillness in us.
TOM FORRESTALL was born in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia in 1936 and studied with Alex Colville and Lawren P. Harris at Mount Allison University, graduating in 1958.
Throughout his career, Forrestall has received many awards and honours including Member of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts (1973), Order of Canada (1986), the 125th Anniversary of Canada Medal (1992) and the Order of Nova Scotia (2007).
Tom Forrestall's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions including Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick; Canada House, London, U.K.; Hungarian National Museum, Budapest; McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario (retrospective), National Gallery of Canada; National Museum of Art Romania, Bucharest.
His work is found in numerous international public, corporate, and private collections including Art Gallery of Hamilton; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; Art Gallery of Ontario; Beaverbrook Art Gallery; Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Hungarian National Museum, Budapest; Musée d'Art Contemporain, Montréal; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Owens Art Gallery, Sackville,
New Brunswick; Winnipeg Art Gallery; City of Toronto; Irving Oil; McCain Foods; Rideau Hall, Ottawa; RBC Financial Group; Scotiabank, and Via Rail.
Tom Forrestall lives and works in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He is represented exclusively by Mira Godard Gallery.
The book presents the range, depth and poetry of Tom Forrestall’s work and explores the development of his characteristic realist style, the genesis of his shaped paintings and the artist’s spirituality as expressed directly and symbolically in the imagery
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