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 John Forrester  (1922 - 2002)

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Lived/Active: New Zealand/Italy      Known for: paintings

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
Homage to a Kitchen Chair, 1979 (120.5 x 170.5 cm)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Born in Wellington, New Zealand on June 21st, 1922. Forrester died in his adoptive small village, Calice Ligure (Italy), on December 22, 2002.

A deck boy on a merchant ship at twelve years old,  he went out into the world, taking with him one seaman's bag, containing socks, sketch paper and pencils.  At fifteen he sold his first picture asking the buyer to return the frame,subsequently using it for another painting.  At the beginning of the second world war Forrester voluntarily enlists in the New Zealand  army,  fighting  in the Pacific Ocean and  North Africa. 

Returning to New Zealand, he earned a degree in architecture but devoted himself entirely to painting from the 1950s on, living in Great Britain and then in Paris, France. He took the "The Grand Tour" of Italy, studying the great painters of the Middle Ages and of the Renaissance, staying for an extended period of time, especially in Tuscany.  

In 1973 he traveled to  Calice Ligure and suddenly decided to make it his home, essential removing himself from the out side art world, art: shows, press conferences,  interviews, relationships with the merchants, etc. He was not interested anymore in selling his work which nevertheless is in the permanent collections of  more than a dozen of museums in England, New Zealand, France, Ireland. U.S.A. and Australia.

Sources:
The Italian catalog of his last show (in memoriam) on May 10th, 2003 at Finale Ligure
Information courtesy of Sergio Barbagianni.


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