Long Lines of Dancing Letters: The Japanese Drawings of Patricia Forsberg

Long Lines of Dancing Letters: The Japanese Drawings of Patricia Forsberg


Essay by Rick Newby

28 pages

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Longtime resident of Missoula, Montana, Patricia Forsberg studied at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC, and received her MFA in Painting at The University of Montana in 1981. She has received a Montana Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, and over the past two decades, her work has been exhibited at Phillips Gallery, Salt Lake City; Botanica Fine Art, Bozeman, Montana; Dana Gallery, Missoula; and various other galleries throughout the West.

Patricia has spent considerable time in Italy studying Italian language and art history, and most recently, she has immersed herself in Japanese language, literature, and art at The University of Montana, followed by a teaching residence in Japan. Patricia is a serious student of the violin and plays in the Missoula Symphony Orchestra.

[Patricia Forsberg’s] series of ‘Japanese’ drawings, created over more than ten years and numbering in excess of 300 intimate works, stands as one of the most engaging, masterful, and achingly lyrical engagements by an artist of the West with a specifically Asian culture. Just as Provence became Van Gogh’s Japan (‘it is a beautiful Japanese dream,’ he wrote of the Provencal countryside), Patricia has found her Japan within the confines of an artist’s studio. . . .

In their exploration of the interior life of women today, these drawings are, quite simply, marvelous expressions of one artist’s allusive imagination, speaking across centuries and cultures with restrained feeling, quiet power, and a riveting sense of beauty all their own.     —Rick Newby