Jonathan Forrest: One Thing Leads to Another

A survey exhibition following the trajectory of Jonathan Forrest’s painting practice.


This exhibition presents a selection of large-scale paintings dating from 2002 to the present. The exhibition will also feature a “wall of small” – a collection of small-scale artworks spanning a thirty-five-year period to offer a visual timeline of the artist’s development.

Jonathan Forrest is an abstract painter who was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and grew up on the Canadian prairies. He divides his studio time between Vancouver Island (where he moved in 2013) and small-town Saskatchewan (where he maintains a summer studio).

Artwork by Jonathan Forrest

Forrest studied at the University of Saskatchewan receiving his BFA in 1983 and his MFA in 1991. He has participated in several artists’ workshops including the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshop (1985, 1988, 1991, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2012), the Saskatchewan Invitational Artists’ Workshop, (Emma Lake, 2000), and Triangle Artists’ Workshop (Brooklyn, NY, 2002). His work has been shown in museums including the Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon), the Edmonton Art Gallery, and the Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina), as well as commercial galleries including Art Placement (Saskatoon), Peter Robertson Gallery (Edmonton), Newzones (Calgary), Gallery Jones (Vancouver), and Michael Gibson Gallery (London ON). Public collections include the Canada Council / Art Bank, Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina), Edmonton Art Gallery, Remai Modern (Saskatoon), Moose Jaw Art Museum, Mackenzie Art Gallery (Regina), Saskatchewan Arts Board, University of Lethbridge, and the University of Saskatchewan. (click here for Jonathan Forrest’s full CV)

Forrest’s work positions itself at a curious moment in painting. He emerged out of the heyday of formalism where, as a young artist forming his identity, he caught the end glimmers of high modernism. He maintained his practice through postmodernism’s questioning and searching, steadily establishing himself in Canada as a painter committed to pursuing the possibilities of abstraction.

“… My work is a combination of intuitive responses to the world around me, an ongoing dialogue with contemporary and historical painting, and an enthusiastic immersion in the material process of making objects. A natural openness and curiosity has kept me alert to the range of potential approaches to art-making. My creative process is positive – I’m interested in creating something new, something generous and giving, and, above all, something that sustains me in the studio.”
(Jonathan Forrest)

Reception with the Artist: Friday, September 17 @7:00pm
Live music, food and drinks


This exhibition is organized by the Art Gallery of Swift Current in partnership with the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery. Curated by Kim Houghtaling.