New York

Roy De Forest

Whitney Museum of American Art

The Bay Area artist Roy De Forest has said he thinks of himself as a “classical American painter with some correspondence to American primitive art and people like George Caleb Bingham and Edward Hicks.” Over the past 20 years, De Forest has been pushing his primitiveness to a point of polished sophistication. The process is traced in a thorough, compact retrospective which traveled to the Whitney from the San Francisco Museum of Art where it was organized by curator John Humphrey, who also wrote a brief, rather insufficient catalogue essay. The exhibition included paintings, drawings, and painted wood wall pieces. My only objection is that there might have been more drawings and fewer wall pieces, but, that aside, it is one of the best exhibitions I have seen at the Whitney all year.

De Forest owns several dogs, likes dogs and paints dogs, along with a few other animals (mostly horses and

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