Brooklyn-based artist Rebecca Forgac knows how to make her days worthwhile.
She is planning on rereading, for the second time, the entirety of Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu. She has spent years enmeshed in the fathomless poetics of Richard Wagner’s “Ring” cycle. And, most importantly, she’s given over countless hours, days, weeks and months to making large and laboriously detailed landscapes from pencil on paper that are a synthesis of Hudson River School grandeur, William Blake’s illustrated manuscripts, Iceland’s numinous, treacherous geography, and a fabulist’s sense of verisimilitude.
Forgac knows how to draw, and astonishingly well—but these works aren’t just technical illustrations of geological curiosities or handsome outdoor scenery. She doesn’t pore over copious printouts of Googled rocks and mountains, chained to an opaque projector. She makes it up as she goes along: Every pebble, tree, subtly submerged cliff or disintegrating obelisk is culled from memory, then refined through pure invention. Indeed, Forgac is observant and exacting in her representations of the natural world, but not without being utterly faithful to the shapes and narratives of her rich and enigmatic inner life.
culled from memory, then refined through pure invention
And inner life—borne of reflection, desire, and above all, solitude—has become even more rare in a place like New York City, where too many young artists are continually pressed for time, money, physical space, and even reverie. Thank heaven for Forgac’s need to think, draw, temper, and make time, and the heaven she gazes into for our exquisite delectation.
ALEX JOVANOVICH is an artist and critic who lives in New York. His writings have appeared in Artlies, Art Papers, and artforum.com, among others. His eighth solo exhibition will open on April 7, 2013 at ADDS DONNA in Chicago.