brenda goodman at simone desousa gallery
Back on Willis Street
Simone DeSousa Gallery presents BRENDA GOODMAN: Back on Willis Street, which includes 15 new works created by the artist in 2022 and 2023. After 50 years since her very first solo exhibition which took place at the Willis Gallery in Detroit in 1973, Brenda Goodman returns to Cass Corridor for the opening of her newest solo exhibition.
“Spanning nearly sixty years, Brenda Goodman’s artistic career is defined by her resistance to any singular definition under medium, subject, or mode of representation. Vacillating between periods of pure abstraction and perceptible figuration, her works illuminate profound spaces of psychological expression and physical evocation. Joy, grief, humor, and vulnerability imbue the spirit of her paintings, oftentimes reflecting the conditions of Goodman’s own life at the time of their creation. The presence of the body—in flesh and in paint—resonates deeply: from her viscerally representational self-portraits of the 90s and early 2000s, to the organistic structures seen in her abstract compositions. Embracing the full material and conceptual capacities of paint, Goodman delves into the depths between form and meaning, cultivating new visions of interiority and terrains of perception.”
The flagship image foreshadows the texture, composition and palette employed throughout this exhibition. Goodman deftly arranges elements delineating between via delicate scoring, thick paint and a section of deep carving directly into the panel the painting rests upon.
This small but mighty piece stands its ground through resolute black line and a build-up of paint to an apex of putrescent green oozing and interacting with the vibrant red underneath.
Long Journey presents clearly demarcated spaces with an eerie near absence of color. Tiny forms in the corner of the triangle read like a corpse in a catacomb while a ghostly cortege exists the premises. Goodman’s smaller pieces manage comparable drama to their larger companions through strong line, coarse surfaces and intrigue.
Falling Up commands attention on coloration alone. The distinct, almost opaque, protracted pentagon bordering Goodman’s now familiar wad of paint, complemented by the neighboring blackened green, is the crux of this composition without which the picture falls apart.
Goodman forges a personal language through a virtuoso arrangement of shapes with tactile depth approaching sculptural. Her bold palette strikes but doesn’t shout. In the broad lexicon of abstraction where techniques and styles are frequently plagiarized, Goodman’s voice is unmistakably her own.
On view through June 10th at Simone DeSousa Gallery 444 W Willis Detroit
*images are mine
direct quote from gallery materials
**Huge shout out to Melannie Chard for her support of this publication. We first met when she’d just moved back to Detroit after a lucrative 10-year run at Sotheby’s in New York City and graciously included a couple of my paintings in her Art Prize space. In early 2018 she opened her now wildly successful gallery M Contemporary in Ferndale. Much gratitude and all the best going forward!
SHOWS OPEN THIS WEEKEND