chicago

Mark Forth

Nancy Lurie Gallery

Mark Forth’s paintings describe odd little vignettes of despair. They are rich with a sense of resigned and inevitable trauma, and their characters seem propelled toward simultaneous and interchangeable states of revelation and misery. Nothing specific ever really happens in these pictures; rather, they become the posed settings for numbing rituals of perpetuity, strange glimpses into individual and interpersonal relationships that we suspect to be both sinister and true. That palpability, the slight but definable sense of secret rhythms laid bare, gives Forth’s paintings their brooding quality and their aura of charged imminence.

Each tableau is set in a large but sparsely furnished room in an older house; the expansive kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms are marked by an air of personal history Within these comfy but redolent spaces men and women move about, sometimes singly, but most often

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the March 1990 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.