Untitled [Orange over Yellow and Green], 2000
Born in Northumberland, Noel Forster (1932 – 2007) was Artist in Residence and a Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford before winning the 1978 John Moores Painting Prize. He taught at both Camberwell and Chelsea colleges throughout the 1980s and 90s, then continued to work in the UK and France until his death. Executed in oil on linen, his colourful abstract works consistently include cross-woven fabric of parallel lines drawn by hand, an intellectual rigour underpinning a dance within arc-like gestures of light.
As an artist, he was independent of movements and trends, yet he was enthralled by traditions and traditional ways of making things, particularly ways of making things by hand. He said that painting was made with the movement of the fingers or with the movement of the hand from the wrist, or with the hand with movements from the elbow, or with the movement of the arm and the whole body. These, he said, were the options for a painter, and they determined the character of a painting. Whatever way one worked, there had to be rhythm. - Bernard Cohen on Noel Forster, 2007