Criterion Books announces  Observation: Notation, Selected Writings of Andrew Forge (1955–2002), edited by David Cast. The book, out now, brings together in one collection a large selection of Forge’s articles, exhibition reviews, catalogue essays, and other writings on fellow artists for the first time. This selection shows the range of his interests—from Rubens to Rauschenberg to Naum Gabo—and the interpretations he brought to the art with which he was so passionately engaged. His later essays also comprise a fascinating record of the contemporary arts during his life, including the work of his many friends and associates: Kenneth Martin, Euan Uglow, Jake Berthot, William Bailey, and Graham Nickson.

Andrew Forge (1923–2002) was renowned and respected on both sides of the Atlantic as a painter and teacher of painting at the Slade, Goldsmiths’, and Yale. But he was also known for his writing on the arts, spanning almost fifty years, which was admired for the delicacy and openness of his language and insight into the processes of perception in all their sensual possibilities.

He was born in Hastingleigh, Kent, England in 1923. In 1947 he entered the painting program at the Camberwell School of Art in South London, studying under William Coldstream, Victor Pasmore, and Kenneth Martin. From 1950 to 1964 he taught painting and drawing at the Slade School of Fine Arts, and from 1964 to 1970 he was Head of the Department of Fine Art at Goldsmiths’ College, London. From 1975 to 1983 he was Dean of the Yale School of Art, teaching there until his retirement in 1994. He died in Washington Depot, Connecticut, in 2002.

David Cast was educated at Oxford and received a Ph.D. in the History of Art at Columbia in 1970. He has taught at Yale, Cornell, and now at Bryn Mawr College, where he is Professor of History of Art and Eugenia Chase Guild Professor of the Humanities Emeritus.


“Andrew Forge belonged to a particularly English tradition of painter-writers, of which the most celebrated earlier practitioner was Roger Fry. Like Fry, he never needed to repeat Leon Battista Alberti’s famous statement of intention—parlo come pittore (I speak as a painter)—because it was evident in everything that he wrote.”

          —John Elderfield 
Chief Curator Emeritus of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art

“Eloquent, perceptive, and wide in his sympathies, Andrew Forge remains one of the distinctive voices in the art criticism of his era. His judgments were informed by his own training as a painter and close friendship with many; his prose was both subtle and stylish. This collection of his writings is most welcome.”

                            —Martin Gayford
Art Critic and Historian


Observation: Notation is out now and available from Amazon. If you would like more information on Observation: Notation or would like to speak to David Cast, please do not hesitate to contact Criterion Books at letters@newcriterion.com.

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