Saturday, December 16, 2017

Roy de Forest Retrospective at the Oakland Museum of California

Respected in the California art world, Richard Kolosky brings experience as a partner in the Beverly Hill Art Exchange to bear in his current position as president of San Francisco’s Townsend Fine Art, Inc. Richard Kolosky focuses on sculpture and paintings that merit placement in a continuum from Van Gogh to Picasso, including the works of late 20th century masters such as Mark Rothko and Roy de Forest. 

A longtime presence in the San Francisco Bay Area, de Forest created expressionistic works that combined playfulness with an underlying intensity and darkness. The 2017 Oakland Museum of California retrospective “Of Dogs and Other People” brought focus on an artist who flourished with the burgeoning psychedelic movement of the late 1960s and the accompanying Funk movement, which he termed Nut art.

In de Forest’s best-known works, a menagerie of canines, horses, chickens, and other animals stare out at the viewer in a way that evokes intense reactions, from laughter to a sense of unease. His paintings (and colorful, eclectic sculptures) feature heavily built-up surfaces, with the elaborately carved and painted frames including items ranging from coat hooks to taxidermy eyes. The whimsical result is what some critics have called a refusal to bend to the “aesthetics of boredom.”