Everyman Everywhere: Ronald Forbes at RSA Edinburgh

Ronald Forbes, 'Everyman: Searcher variation', acrylic on linen
Ronald Forbes, 'Everyman: Searcher variation', acrylic on linen

Ronald Forbes: The Everyman Variations

Daily, 10:00 - 17:00

From: 11 Mar 2023

To: 16 Apr 2023

Royal Scottish Academy
The Mound
Edinburgh & the Lothians

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Ronald Forbes: The Everyman Variations at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh features a range of paintings inspired by the Bruegel drawing of Elck, the Netherlandish version of Everyman, who figures centrally in a range of morality plays in various European cultures. 

On completing the design of the book A Blind Man’s Dreams: The Paintings and Films of Ronald Forbes by Tom Normand, Forbes became aware of some gaps in his overall oeuvre. In the 1980s he produced a range of paintings featuring a collage-formed figure searching for something undeclared among masses of black polythene refuse sacks and heaps of fragmented consumer items. Some of these paintings he felt worked well, others less so, and he felt it was worth further exploration.

In the new work he has created a collage figure in various postures carrying a light and a large pair of eyes of the kind in a child’s doll. These “characters” are placed in various environments formed from images of crossword puzzles or mazes. In each version the Everyman figure is confronted by a box out of which pops a collage-formed aspect of the natural world, such as animal, bird or plant life.

This exhibition attempts to draw together the complex web of themes and ideas formed in a long life of looking and wondering. All works are for sale.


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