LONDON.- Denzil Forresters vibrant, colourful works immortalise the dynamic energy of the London reggae and dub nightclub scene during the early 1980s. Pulsating with rhythm, the artists expressive depictions of dance halls and clubs capture crowds of people moving in unison with the beat of the music. Flashes of vivid colour, gestural brushstrokes and frenetic compositions characterise his work. In contrast to the joy of his nocturnal revellers, Forresters paintings also portray the racial and social injustice experienced by the Afro-Caribbean community in 80s London by pointing to the ramifications of police brutality.
Forrester explains: I just wanted to draw movement, action and expression. I was interested in the energy of the crowd, particular dance movements and what the clubbers wore. In these clubs, city life is recreated in essence: sounds, lights, police sirens, bodies pushing and swaying in a smoke-filled room.
Within the history of British painting of the post-war era, I think there will be a corrective where Denzil Forresters name and his work is introduced into the art historical narrative. - Matthew Higgs
I believe Denzil Forrester is one of the most important painters to come out of London in the early 80s and his work remains as vital and relevant today as it was then. - Peter Doig
Born in Grenada in 1956, Denzil Forrester moved to London in 1967. He now lives and works in Cornwall. Forrester received a BA in Fine Art from the Central School of Art, London in 1979 and an MA in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art, London in 1983.
His works can be found in the collections of Tate, London; Arts Council Collection, UK; and Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, amongst many others. His work has been exhibited internationally at venues including The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Tate Britain, London; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Royal Academy of Arts, London; and Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow. His work has recently been the focus of three solo shows curated by Peter Doig and Matthew Higgs at White Columns, New York (2016); Tramps, London (2016); and Jackson Foundation, St Just (2018). He was awarded a scholarship by the British School at Rome in 1983-85 and a Harkness Fellowship in New York in 1986-88.