Denzil Forrester: Itchin & Scratchin

Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, United Kingdom
08 Feb 2020 - 03 May 2020

Denzil Forrester, Night Flames, 2012. Copyright Denzil Forrester. Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London.

Nottingham Contemporary presents a selection of paintings and works on paper by Denzil Forrester, in his largest institutional exhibition to date. Titled Itchin & Scratchin, the show will span Forrester’s engagement with the dimly lit dancehalls of 1980s East London to the present-day open-air clubs of Jamaica.

Focusing on large-scale paintings made by the Grenada-born, Cornwall-based artist from the last two decades, the exhibition comprises vivid, colourful works that capture the dynamic energy of the London reggae and dub nightclub scene during the early 1980s, a subject that has endured throughout 40 years of the artist’s practice. Forrester’s paintings typically begin as quick sketches, often made during the length of a single track and drawn quasi-blind on dark, bustling dancefloors.

Having visited Kingston for the first time earlier this year, the artist will also showcase a new body of work that captures the vibrant atmosphere of the city’s sound systems. Five new paintings will be exhibited alongside original, preparatory drawings that Forrester made whilst immersed in Jamaica’s nightlife. Itchin & Scratchin will be punctuated by significant earlier works, to demonstrate the breadth of the artist’s practice, his use of recurring motifs and continued commitment to exploring the energy of London’s music halls.

Denzil Forrester: Itchin & Scratchin is presented in partnership with Spike Island, where it will be on display from 4 July to 6 September 2020.


Artist Talk
with Denzil Forrester, Nottingham Contemporary’s director Sam Thorne, and writer and director Julian Henriques.

Thu 27 Feburary




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