Viewing Tim Forcum's most recent series of abstract oil paintings is a bit like watching a professor work out a math problem right in front of you. Forcum's predilection for crisply rendered solid ovoid shapes and tubular connective tissue has inspired choreographed maneuvers between intersectiong elements that seemed to glide across flat canvas surfaces like lily pads on a pond. The new paintings are both the same and different. They retain his quirky palette of pea soup green, dark chestnut brown, bright sky blue, fresh mint and fleshy peach, but these are now used in executing more attenuated forms. There is a new prevalence of line drawing, mostly in either black or white, and of negative spaces and hollow forms rather than opaque ovals and limbs that generate deeper pictorial space and depth. What makes this particularly engaging is that every work in the show obtains some level of evidence of the transition, or traces of compromise and inspiration, experiment and fusion, that when viewed as a whole offer a dynamic insight into the artist's thinking.The piece entitled Complications of Nature (all works 2008), for example, still employs a predominance of solid shapes. Painted black, white, gray and maroon, its crescents, rhomboids and tubular shapes are draped with a filigree of icing: here in green, there in lavender. The directions begin to diverge in this work and the split is apparent. In Read Between the Lines, one sees the next step beyond. In its three distinct sets of hoses, simple black, white and blue palette, and relative lack of solid shapes blocking their sinewy progress, this composition has stronger spatial recession, and the lines are taking over. In these compositions, Forcum's work becomes graphic rather than shapely, exoking circuitry rather than solidity, vines rather than rock formations, calligraphy rather than mosaic. In de angels, elements of what could be a peach-and-black forest amidst swirling dust of snow radiates energy as the shapes condense into lines. The result is curiously anthropomorphic. On the whole, Forcum's work is more gestual and painterly with this loosening of his compositional structure, there's also a looseness to his brushwork that in context seems confident rather than decadent like improvisation in jazz, which is the reward for mastering the rules first.
Tim Forcum has been exhibiting in Southern California for over a decade. He manages the trick of making raw painting composed with an elegant precision. He is a brilliant colorist and a lyrical linesman, drafting strokes of orchestrated infinities with purpose. His show at d.e.n. contemporary is a must-see if you have any inclination to see abstract painting leap the chasm of where it has all been to where it should be going.
Los Angeles Times March 21, 2008 Around the Galleries by Christopher Knight
Tim Forcum's easel-sized abstractions at d.e.n. contemporary mingle organic and geometric shapes with linear tangles, which your eyes track as if following a map. Most of the paint application is hard-edged and anonymous, especially in the shapes, but some of the line imply the artist's hand. The palette largely avoids saturated primary colors.Collectively titled "Complications of Nature," the 19 mostly oil-on-canvas works seem determined to poke around betwixt and between, location nature as something separate from but part of human perception. Yet the work feels tentative and overly modest, skillful and safe. The show's title painting is the most convincing and also - perhaps significantly - the largest. In this case, bigger is better.
Tema Celeste Magazine Jan/Feb 2006 Made in Los Angeles by Shana Nys Dambrot
...Tim Forcum and Fumiko Amano are both abstract painters in the European-style atelier tradition. Concerned with the mechanics of style, they share an academic purism when it comes to patterns, surfaces, and planar spaces. Forcum's compositions are conglomerations of single-color shapes that snake and float and jostle each other against muscular color-fields. Lines result from scraping palette knives to remove wax-infused pigment in layers, revealing pockets of patinated detail and forming sinews between floating oblongs and ovals. His arrangement of color and shape creates optical movement that suggest a series of stacked planes, keeping the eye in motion...
LA Weekly December 16-22, 2005 Go by Peter Frank
...Tim Forcum's paintings rock out, too, in a more, er, baroque manner characteristic of today's abstract painting. Piling shape upon buoyant shape into thickets of vibrantly contrasting colors, Forcum still manages to keep things balanced and even ordered. This palette doesn't always suggest greenery, but a landscapy feeling predominates in these rich, dense oils; still, we can always see the trees - the individual forms - for the forest.
Los Angeles Times Friday, February 11, 2005 Around The Galleries by David Pagel
The natural landscape isn't what it used to be. Neither is landscape painting. "Groundwork," the aptly titled inaugural exhibition at d.e.n. contemporary art, consists of mixed-media images by eight artists whose heads are filled with digital info yet whose hearts are drawn to the pleasures of plein-air painting. Isabel Manaio and Tim Forcum abstract shpaes come from nature. Their canvases suggest a world that has been digitally transmitted its components all the more romantic for being elusive...