About Tim Forbes

Tim Forbes

A young Tim Forbes opened a graphic design studio in Halifax after briefly attending the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Soon after relocating to Toronto, a prolific studio was rapidly garnering international awards for the efficacy of creative design and communications. Forbes’s impressive list of clients included some of Canada’s leading corporations and performing arts organizations. He also became a major producer of international marketing campaigns for the film and television industry.

As with most things in a fluid, inventive career, since 2006 Forbes has embraced conceptual art’s underpinnings on his own terms channeling intangible socio-political, theoretical, and material ideas into his practice of sculpture, painting and photography.  He is a highly regarded artist with showcases at both the Toronto International Art Fair and New York’s Architectural Design Show. His work is held in private and corporate collections internationally. 

Forbes is a post-modern minimalist: his painting explores the nature of material properties and pared-down formal relationships, while at the same time wrestling with political subjects that anchor his work in modern-day dialogues. Complex and deliberately shifting formal elements realized in carbon black on white canvas address contemporary subjects through meaningful repetition and patterning. Paintings are conceived and plotted digitally “to best understand the tension and visual relationships.”  

Situated in contemporary culture, Forbes’ forms are imbued with a conceptual functionality: “Especially in the abstract, both the works on canvas and sculpture must have a destination, the arrival of which is addressed in a contemplation of function either within the emotive or within the form.” – Forbes

In sculpture, Forbes first creates a maquette—a small scale model in air-dried clay or hand-formed metal—before working with his production team to custom fabricate large-scale works through state-of-the-art technical processes in resin, fiberglass, bronze or steel. The initial creative process generally involves an aleatory open session of handwork through to completion in a single sitting. The form of the finished maquette will then inspire aesthetic decisions such as scale and patina. Forbes’ sculptural work is process-oriented and often realized in highly alluring, sensual finishes.

In 2018 Forbes was commissioned to create more than 40 original black and white studies as part of a stunning re-design of the Canadian flagship hotel in the prestigious Ritz-Carlton chain. Other important commissions in Toronto include "Leloop,” a stainless-steel sculpture for Daniel Libeskind’s L Tower, "Power” created for a terrace in the Massey Tower and “Cloud," a 3.5m porcelain-white sculpture engineered to float in a pool on the rooftop terrace of The Art Shoppe condo complex. 

In 2021, as part of the $200M Queen’s Marque waterfront development in Halifax, a commission for Nova Scotia’s first 5-star hotel, Marriott’s Muir, saw the creation of “Sentinels and Boats” –– a series of photo-based portraits of the rugged Atlantic shoreline.

In recent years, Forbes returned to his roots relocating his studios to the solace of Nova Scotia’s south shore. 



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Past Exhibitions