Private: Tim Forbes

Tim Forbes bases his international art practice on the secluded South Shore of Nova Scotia, on the Ancestral Territory of the Mi’kmaq people. His multi-disciplined studio involves demonstrative large-scale works on canvas of relational line and mass, abstract sculptures that transcend organic form, and digital photography occupying states of nature, cultural memory, and architecture without architects.

Born in Halifax in 1949, Forbes developed his first graphic design studio at the age of 24. Soon thereafter, relocating to Toronto, he garnered acclaim in a fluid career of over forty years as an award-winning art director and graphic designer as a major creative source for the performing arts, music, film, and television industries, as well as for leading national and global corporations in the production of cross-platform communications.

Looking to stretch beyond the confines of an urban design studio, in 2006 Forbes developed an annex studio in a repurposed rural Ontario schoolhouse to explore the tactility and three-dimensional space of sculptural forms. Within a year, clay masters were editioned in bronze at the Canadian foundry ArtCast. In 2016, the commissioned work ‘A Complexity of Crows,’ carved from B.C. Western red cedar, received a CODAWorx award for residential art, with listing in the CODA Top 100 International Artists. Today, large-scale commissioned works are produced in various mediums with Forbes’ sensitive attention to space, place, and the importance of personal interaction.

“I like black. It’s a colour that’s made up its mind.” — Forbes

In 2018, a series of gestural works on paper created at a summer studio in Nova Scotia prompted the opening of a dedicated painting studio in Toronto, exploring a monochromatic vocabulary on large scale canvas. Working exclusively in carbon black acrylic, the inaugural series was formally released to collectors at the 2019 Toronto International Art Fair. With works premiered in US galleries in 2021, Forbes’ ongoing series continue to reflect neo-minimalist modeling of pattern recognition and repetition.

Forbes’ works on canvas are attuned to perceptual shifts that arise in relation to different material languages. Referencing the reductive form and performative experience of mid-century and modernist genres, Forbes’s neo-minimalist language retains traditional tenets while leveraging their symbolic communicative potential. The tonal dialogue, while familiar, invokes a novel aspect bringing understatement to work that defines itself through forthrightness.

“A belief in the social necessity of art and its value well beyond the whimsy of popular culture has inspired much of Forbes’ inventive career.” – No3 Magazine, New York, 2014

Regular Hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Admission is by Donation.

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