Rodney Forbes: In My Life – Gippsland Art Gallery

In News March 6, 2021

Image above: Rodney Forbes  Shrove Monday  2010  oil on canvas  122 x 138 cm  (private collection)

In a collaboration between Australian Galleries and Gippsland Art Gallery, a survey exhibition of Rodney Forbes’ colourful and characteristic practice from 1983 – 2020 will be on show at Gippsland Art Gallery in Sale.

Rodney Forbes – who has exhibited at Australian Galleries since 1984 – paints figurative narrative works which explore wonder, sense of place and the surrealism of everyday life. His first career was as an electronics technician with the Navy, giving him an enduring love of the sea, which often features in his work.

The exhibition seeks to celebrate Rodney Forbes’ unique style of storytelling and his highly distinctive painting style. Over four decades, Forbes has developed his figurative narrative painting and use of flattened perspective. Throughout this exhibition visitors can view works that showcase Forbes’ colourful and characteristic practice.

As Caroline Field writes, “For more than 40 years, Forbes’ works have displayed a strong intensity of purpose with their narratives drawn out by the artist as he unravels the significance of events held in his memory, along with his trademark engagement in the serious business of storytelling delivered with a mixture of humour and analysis. He enjoys the activity of gathering material and information for paintings through a highly developed visual journal process. Appreciating the slow build-up of a painting that encourages new ideas to creep in over time, he typically works simultaneously on several paintings so they all gestate slowly and provide complimentary influence.”

Says Rodney, “I’m grateful to Australian Galleries for retrieving past paintings for the show, and also to the collectors who have supported my practice over the years and loaned their works. I’m looking forward to seeing again paintings I created over 30 years ago.”

The exhibition opens on 13 March and runs until 16 May 2021. For more information, and to view the full exhibition online, click here. To read the exhibition catalogue, click here.

Image above: Rodney Forbes  A submariner dreams of home  oil on canvas  33.5 x 50 cm (Winner, 2020 Maritime Art Prize)