Forbes in studio 

 Bio and C.V.                 2018


Richard John Forbes                      


 Richard John Forbes lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa as a visual artist.

His process drives his practice. A strong emphasis is placed on physical engagement in his work.

This attention can be seen and experienced clearly in the textures, layers and exploration of form translated from his hands into his work.


“I am interested in the veil suspended between all things, the charged film of atmosphere

my is compulsion to gain experience with many different media and this tool box of multiple disciplines allows me to explore every idea I have relating to a potential filamentary thin membrane separating everything.”

 My practice includes, sculpture, installation, public work, Land art, Printmaking, Painting, film, document and drawing.

Further more, through collective and group practice I seek out ways of reaching through that membrane to expand experiences and awareness

I have had multiple solo exhibitions in the South Africa, United Kingdom, and participated in more than 25 group shows.

 My work stands in private collections and on public sites in the South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, Australia, The Netherlands, France, and United Arab Emirates.

I have curated two critical exhibitions, one 30 person group show and 1 a dedicated solo.

I have stages designed a sold out play, The Suit by Can Themba, directed by James Ncgobo at the market theatre.

Guest Lecturer at Pretoria University, SA and a guest speaker at the university of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA.




February– A shy restrained pink thing- Exposed, revived and blessed in Die OOG, Groot Marico, North Western Provence, South Africa.

January- A shy restrained pink thing-Exposed at Harrie Siertsma’s MAP Gallery, Grass Kop, Mpumalanga, South Africa in collaboration with BLOCH of Bloch Global, Comcom curated by Roger Gentinetta.

Exposed under Mary Shires falls, Grass kop, Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Exposed in London Forestry Arbor, Grass kop, Mpumalanga, South Africa in collaboration with BLOCH Global, Comcom curated by Roger Gentinetta.


December- A shy restrained pink thing – Exposed on the roof of Luis Alonzo Barkigia’s Studio, New Jersey ,the snow in New York skyli ne in the distance, USA

Exposed in an indigenous Swamp land being cleared for development. Savanna Georgia, USA

Exposed to a Peterbuilt cement truck, Cement factory, Wynwood Walls, MIAMI BASEL, Miami , FL,USA

Exposed to Miami south beach pier and sunset, MIAMI BASEL, Miami beach FL, USA

Exposed in room 263, The original Play Boy Bunny Club, Plaza hotel, South Beach, FL , USA MIAMI BASEL

November- A shy restrained pink thing- Exposed to Coffs Harbor Air port- Parachute drop zone New South Wales, Australia

 Exposed to Coffs Harbor Jetty, New South Wales, Australia


October- A shy restrained pink thing- Exposed to Knysna, Oak Arbor, Western Cape, South Africa


October-A shy restrained pink thing- Exposed in Tsitikama nature reserve, Western Cape, South Africa

October- A shy restrained pink thing-unexposed at home, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

October- A shy restrained pink thing- exposed on Tieties Baai island, Paternoster, Western Cape, South Africa

October-A shy restrained pin thing- exposed at Modern Art Projects – Richmond, Northern Cape South Africa

October- Participated in “WORDS” Exhibition and literary festival at Nirox sculpture Park and foundation.  De-codex and Dark Codex.

September- A shy restrained pink thing- exposed at Nirox Foundation, Marapeng, Gauteng, South Africa,In collaboration with Hector Hernandes Rosas for Willem Bosoff’s birthday party.

September- A shy restrained pink thing –first exposure at the Cosmopolitain during JHB Art fair and JHB art week, Maboneng, Johannesburg, South Africa.

June-July- Matadero Madrid- El Ranchito Nigeria-Sud Africa residency. A body of sacred Spanish Alabaster works created in 6 weeks.

On residency with Sophia Van wyk, Hector Hernandes Rosas, Mar Guerrero, Taiye Idahor , Christian Newby, Gloria Oyarzabal, Obina Makatta  culminating in a group exhibition “YO COMO CALIDAD” I BUY QUALITY.

June– Installed SONAR SOUND – Hermanus Old Harbour  for the Hermanus cliff walks anual sculpture exhibition .

A sound resonant steel disc 4m in diameter raised 1.5m off the ground to oscillate to the puling of the wind and the sea.

May –June –

The Suit” by Can Themba

opended at the Market theatre Johannesburg, South Africa

Stage and sets designed by Richard Forbes , directed by James Ncgobo



‘Spire’ – A White south African marble petro glyph-

installed at the old Enrico Daffonchio house ,designed by Architect Douglas Cowin in the Bauhaus style 1930s .

Houghton, Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa ,

Jade Hamburger collection.




May 1st  – Winter sculpture Fair at Nirox sculpture Park

CO-curated by Yorkshire Sculpture Park ,UK

Dark Codex – a volume In pursuit of Darkness.

This spacious sculpture event will run until the end of July and is free to the public on weekends except when there is a fixed event.




 November  19th- Artist proof studio at Absa Gallery

Absa towers East, Johannesburg

4 Drypoint etchings . “Lucid Sedation” 1-4


October 1st– Transitions at the post office.

 The old Transvaal post office 1906-

20 Solomon st, Vrededorp, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Curators– Richard J Forbes and Danny Myburg .

#30 Artists- one big night!

Ellipse– a 9 foot suspended wooden void and 4 evolved dry point prints.


SeptemberJohannesburg art fair– represented by Artist proof studio.


August- Turbine art fair-Artist proof studio -new evolved Dry point prints.


May- Nirox winter sculpture fair

Marapeng, Kromdraai, Cradle of human kind, Gauteng, South Africa

Vessel– A 9 foot cast iron permanent record of a dance.

May-  Vessel is unveiled @The winter Sculpture Fair, Nirox sculpture garden , Marapeng  ,The cradle of human kind <South Africa


May _ “Twister” exhibited @ Hazzard Gallery , Maboneng , Johannesburg ,South Africa





December- Vortex 5 at BRUNDYN+ Gallery’s summer show “Anyway” the wind blows”  Cape Town

November –December- Artist Residency at Nirox Foundation. Exploring new works in ston, and performance.


October- “Paper” a Group exhibition at Artist Proof studios exploring alternative, sculptural uses of paper.


August- Nirox project space #3

with Stephan Erasmus, and Ansi Nitingeka


June- Turbine art fair with Prince Albert gallery


May- Nirox winter sculpture exhibition


Joburg Joburg Exhibition.

March 1st & 8th on the roof of corner house , Commisioner street, Johannesburg.






September : Vortex 1 installed at Spier wine estate, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, RSA


Milwaukee print shows at Johannesburg art fair with Artist proof studios alongside 4 New prints from the star walker series relating to water bearer .


August: Res gallery Jan Smuts ave, Johannesburg.

Processed a solo exhibition exploring the digital process of the brain through print and sculpture




 Forth coming  Events:


13th.  University of Milwaukee– Guest speaker and print collaborative workshops until the 23rd.

  Vortex 1 & 2 ( large steel structures ) unveiled at the Nirox sculpture park , Maboneng, Gauteng,  South Africa for the “After the Rainbow nation” exhibition

 Opening date to be announced for end of March


 “ Tempest” commenced

 SeptemberRepresented by Artist Proof studio & David brown Fine Art at Johannesburg art fair.

Invitation by Elena Rocci to contribute to her and Rhett Martyn’s  architectural art installation at Gifa ( Gauteng institute of Architecture) during the Art fringe festival . Braamfontein , JHB, Gauteng South Africa

Participated in the Prince Albert art fair .  Print & sculpture

 May–  Participated in 21 years of Artist proof studios at Johannesburg Art Gallery

“Water Bearer” lino print 1m by 1800 m


15 March- 15 April  A.R.C @ Gibs ( Gordon institute of business science),Ilovo , Johannesburg, South Africa


 December: Marvelouse world 5–Prince Albert  Klein Karoo

Sarel Petrus, Guy Dutoit Richard John Forbes, Paul Cooper

 September:_ Monumental Wood carving mentorship for Pretoria university. 3rd year students produced work to stand on the grounds of the university around a newly created lecture hall. Trees were sourced from the excavations to offset the carbon footprint of the site. Installation of works January 2012

 September:- Artist proof studios shown at Johannesburg Art fair

 May-August:– A.R.C. @ JAG Mid career retrospective solo show at Johannesburg art gallery

 FebruaryMarvelous World- 4 male sculptors, Richard Forbes, Guy Dutoit,

 Sarel Petrus, Paul Cooper.

Venue- Fried gallery Pretoria

 Marchfemale dirigible “ aviatrix” exhibited on a Christian Nerf disposable experience, Cape town , wood stock.


AprilExhibited published print collection on the Johannesburg art fair courtesy of Artist proof studio.

 Africa burns- Purged “The kiss” with fire .

 Julyprints and minuments of ‘Courage’ and ‘elevator’ @ Grand Provence , Franschoek , western Cape.

 SeptemberExhibited “ Courage” along with 20 respected sculptors in the ”Roof top” exhibition, St. Lorient wedding and dress design venue, Pretoria. This show moves to University of Johannesburg gallery for an opening on the 7th of October to be open for 2 months.

October– “ Quiet revolution’ print exhibited and sold for the fund raiser of Artist Proof Studios at gala dinner Mastre Antonio.

Participated in “Taped”, a Public art experiment by Rhett Martyn at Inscape design school, Rosebank , Johannesburg.

November– Printed an addition of  “ A.R.C @ JAG” for the Johannesburg Art Gallery centenary book to be launched on the 28th on November 2010.Part of the series of prints to be show in May of 2011 “A.R.C” a mid career retrospective.

December– “Sarah’s world” and “Courage” show on “Angels” Gallery at Grande Provence, Franschoek, Western Cape, South Africa.


December-Research for Exhibit a mid career retrospective show at JAG in May of 2011.

 SeptemberExhibited along with 20 sculptors in the ”Roof top” exhibition, St. Lorient wedding and dress design venue, Pretoria. This show moves to University of Johannesburg gallery for an opening on the 7th of October to be open for 2 months.


May -at The art room, Melville JHB“ Composing cats series” lino cut prints.


April- Exhibited a ‘quiet revolution’ print and a printed dirigible on the Johannesburg art fair courtesy of Artist proof studio.


January- Commenced creation, completion and installation of 2 public works for Berea, Johannesburg commissioned by the JDA through the trinity Sessions . ‘Courage’ and ‘Elevator’



 November- Assisted Guy Dutoit  with a 3m / 3m/3m concrete wave for Jefreys bay, Eastern Cape.

Marvelous World- 4 male sculptors, Richard Forbes, Guy Dutoit,

 Sarel Petrus, Paul Cooper.

3 venues over one year.

Outlet\ at Pretoria tech. Bag factory\ Johannesburg. Off the wall \

Paarl in the Cape.


February-“Courage” – Mixed media 3m high sculpture in


Private Commission – door for Michelangelo

The King suite. 18 month  completed and installed.



NovemberParticipated in a wood block\lino cut printing

work shop hosted by JHB art bank and Artist

Proof studio. Produced the “ Composing cats series”

September 22nd-October13th – Quiet Revolution

concluded in SA in a solo show at The Premises

gallery, Johannesburg Civic theatre August- assisted William Kentridge with a wooden

horses for his forth coming opera ‘The Nose‛.

Horses shown at the Goodman gallery.


July – Quiet Revolution hosted at the Topsy

Foundation (haven for Aids afflicted families and



June Commenced work on ‚SAND ANGEL AND

SHAMAN‛ the entrance of the pent house suite of

the Michelangelo towers, Sandton, Johannesburg,

South Africa.


April – carved two monumental sculptures for

Johannesburg Art bank to be placed at

Johannesburg Water, named The Fluid Couple(two

3m high wood carvings depicting water towers, as I

interpret them)


March – Blue Gum project sponsored by Absa, in

Prince Albert, Klein Karoo. Five monumental trees

carved and four carvers trained. Finished sculpture

called The Burghers of Prince Albert



December – Submitted a print and a spinning top (Quiet

Revolution) to the National School of Arts for its traveling

exhibition of the East, beginning in Singapore

June – Workshop at St Stithian’s College Cultural Day with 1000


June – Workshop/show The Quiet Revolution at Artist proof Studio

with approximately 100 students.

May – Completed one Miniature Theatre for William Kentridge’s ‚

Magic Flute ‚ projections. Project destination: Paris.

May – Provided Absa Bank with commissioned trophies for Absa

Atelier Award 2006

February – Ripple Exhibition at Absa Gallery, Johannesburg (8-

24 Feb).








January— Established Richard J Forbes school for sculpture.

February— Beginning of” Blue gum project”

March— Research film trip to Zimbabwe and Botswana Produced ‘4

rivers’ digital film .Part of the MTN art collection. Commenced

production of” With Logs” exhibition .

April— Completed scale model display theatre for William Kentridge’s

“Magic Flute” as seen at La Monne’ opera house , Brussels, Belgium.

May— Commenced film production of ”The Somnambulist” with

technical assistance from Craig. A transparent night watch self portrait.

Submitted “The Somnambulist “ to Brett Kebble ward.

July— “With Logs” solo exhibition opened at 157 Jan Smuts Ave,


September—- Commissioned to create 5 more miniature theatres for

William Kentridge destined for Italy, New York, Zurich, Paris.

October— Exhibited on group show at Michael Angelo Tower Mall ,

Sandton , Johannesburg by invitation from the Trinity Session.

November— Completed 3 Miniature Theatres for William Kentridge’s

“ Magic Flute “ projections.

December – Commenced production for new exhibition; “ RIPPLE “ at

ABSA Gallery, down town Johannesburg.


February-completed 4th and last monument model for

William Kentridge.

March –Exhibited through ORT South Africa at the chief

Rabbi Cyril Harris Sinagogue.

April –Resident at the Gordart Gallery ,3rd

Ave,Melville,Jhb,SA. With thanks to Gordon Froud the

curator, I have participated in two group shows.

April –“Nodd” the oak nodding Daschund showing in

the ‘ten years of democracy’ exhibition at the Everard

Read Gallery,no.6 Jellicoe Ave,Rosebank,JHB,SA ,for the

month of April .

May—Stained glass and found wood gable front door

installed at Livni family home, Emmarentia


June: Participated on Gordart vinyl disc exhibition

which travelled to ART KLOPP.

September—Finalist on the Brett Kebble art award


October—Exhibited TAC TOC with Toni Ann Ballenden

at Gordart. Melvillle ,Jhb

November/ December— Created a stereo scope viewer

for William Kentridge.

1989– graduated from Johannesburg school for art,

ballet, music & drama with a 1st in painting, and

sculpture. Second in drawing and photography.

2003– -March- Carfax, ‘vinyl cube’ event. -July-

Carfax, ‘vinyl cube’ event.

August– Commenced assistance to William

Kentridge on 4 monumental sculptures for the

museum of modern art , Western Australia. To

be completed by January 2004.

November 22 Carfax ‘vinyl cube 3 The Kiss

2002– Carfax group exhibition. Commenced

work on a solo body of work while allowing

private viewing at No.66, 6th street, Linden,

Johannesburg, SA.



July: Blind Spot 2” Dry Barry Gallery, Vrededorp,

Johannesburg, SA.

October: Group exhibition, Stewart Gallery,

Parkhurst, Johannesburg, SA.

Commenced front door project for Mr & Mrs



2000– Returned to South Africa . –

July– Finger print participant in ‘Blind spot’, Dry

Barry Gallery, Vrede dorp, Johannesburg, SA. –

November-group exhibition, Stewart Gallery,

Parkhurst, Johannesburg, SA.



July: solo exhibition, Kings road, South

Kensington, London.

August: Group exhibition, Dorian Gallery,

Berkshire, North London.



Became totally absorbed in heritage restoration

specializing in the features of land mark

structures eg: -Wellington arch, Hide park

corner, London. -The royal institute of architects

building , Westminster, London. -The house of

parliament members tunnel, Westminster,

London. -St.Lukes church, Liverpool street,

London. -Mill Hill private school, north London. –

Dreadnought mariner’s hospital, the Queens

house, Greenwich, Southeast London. Tate

gallery, Victoria embankment, London. –

Nunhead cemetery, The chapel and notable

mausoleums, Southeast London.


June 1998-Solo exhibition of London wood carvings.

Beacon Gallery se13, London, UK.





1997– Co-founder of Beacon studios, se13 ,London, UK

A live \ work environment which eventually aided in the

amending of council bylaws across England . I.E:

commercial and residential combined licensing.


1997-commenced apprenticeship with Paul Carter.

architectural stone restorer through David Ball

Restoration to English heritage. First project: The Sultan

of Brunei’s London residence no.27 Kensington palace

gardens ,Kensington, London, UK


1996-Depford art festival. Solo exhibition for HSBC

bank, Depford, London, UK. July 1996- carved and

erected head stone for Julian Husband. Died



1994-Travelled to Canada.

Montreal,Toronto,Vancouver, Calgary then returned to

Cascais, Portugal. Commenced rigorous self training in

the skill of woodcarving and the Portuguese language.

End of 1994– emigrated to London, UK.

1995-Colaborated with tree surgeon, Julian Husband

utilizing fallen and found wood in city parks. The

London collection .


1993– Returned to Cape Town and opened the Loop

street studios. Main focus on sculpture from



1992-moved to Cape Town then on to Paris, France.

Lisbon, Portugal.


1991-Accepted a position as apprentice \ assistant to

Guy Du Toit; sculptor, bronze founder.


1990– commenced foundation course at Technicon