In a New Space
September 8th, 2017 – October 1st, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, September 8th, 6pm–9pm
DAVID&SCHWEITZER Contemporary is proud to present In a New Space, a solo exhibition of Brenda Goodman’s paintings and works on paper, opening September 8th and running through October 1st.
Brenda Goodman has committed her life to painting for five decades. Her practice is without compromise; “answers“ are discovered through a wide-open combination of processes driven by intuition. Starting with an obsessive incising of lines, moving back and forth with flat wide expanses of brushed oil paint and a wide-ranging use of material, she “draws“ within the painting, until what she needs to say emerges from the surface itself. Working between scale shifts from the intimate (6” x 8” works on paper) to large paintings on wood (greater than 7’ high), all are of equal power and resolution. Her mastery of an innovative use of materials and vivid colors, create works of deeply personal narratives that bend the languages of abstraction and figuration. These are profoundly moving works filled with mystery, passion and great beauty.
Over the last ten years, Goodman’s growing critical acclaim and increased exposure in exhibitions, both in institutions and galleries, has brought a wider audience to her work and has garnered respect and influence among painters that span generations.
The title for this exhibition has multiple readings, much like Brenda’s work. The most obvious refers to her new, spacious studio, filled with light and calm, the studio Goodman always dreamed of, and now the one in which she works daily.
A second read of the show’s title refers to a wider degree of openness in the new work. While continuing the dance between abstraction and figuration found in her previous decade of works, the new pieces move away from a more direct narrative to a more abstract, open language about painting itself. This “lighter” direction reflects how Goodman’s life and space have changed. While this tightrope between abstraction and figuration is still being walked in this latest body of work, much of the angst evident in some of her earlier paintings seems replaced by a revelation of freedom and confidence – in herself and in her practice of painting. A truly great painter is one who persists in taking risks and in expanding her vocabulary, even when she has arrived on center stage, as Goodman surely has. By these measures, these latest works prove her greatness. At the heart of Goodman’s practice has always been the uncompromising honesty with which she tells us about her life, an approach always in service of finding truth.
In 2015 Goodman had a 50-year retrospective at Detroit’s Center Galleries at the College for Creative Studies, which this year bestowed upon her an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.
Goodman has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and two New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships as well as the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Exceptional Achievement.
Goodman most recently has had solo exhibitions at Jeff Bailey Gallery, NADA-NY, Paul Kotula Projects, and Life On Mars Gallery. Throughout her career, she has had over 38 one-artist exhibitions at numerous galleries throughout the country, including John Davis Gallery (Hudson, NY), Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ), Howard Scott Gallery and Pam Adler Gallery (New York City), Nielsen Gallery (Boston), Revolution Gallery (Ferndale, MI), Marianne-Deson Gallery and Phyllis Kind (Chicago).
Her work has been exhibited in more than 170 group shows, most notably in New York City at The Whitney Biennale, The New Museum, Edward Thorp Gallery, Pamela Auchincloss Gallery, and throughout the US at Nielsen Gallery (Boston), Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art (Ridgefield, CT), the Butler Institute of American Art (Youngstown, OH), and the American Academy of Arts and Letters (NY).
Goodman’s paintings are found in the The Agnes Gund Collection, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), and the Birmingham Museum of Art, among numerous other private and public collections.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by Thomas Micchelli.
In our Project Space, concurrent with Brenda Goodman’s exhibition, we will be presenting a series of intimate works by Len Bellinger in advance of his one-person show in our main space schedule for Spring 2018.
Grace Glueck in The New York Times has written of Bellinger’s work, “Taking off from the overall schemes of Renaissance altarpieces, Len Bellinger builds up heavily textured architectural paintings that have a feeling of sculptural mass. While retaining echoes of the original forms – faint, arching shapes and linear paneling – Bellinger reworks the altarpieces into very contemporary explorations of light and color…their evident link to the past intensifies the calm strength of these meditative paintings.”
For forty years Len Bellinger’s work has been committed to the exploration of abstract/non-representational painting and the ambiguous space inherent in the concept of ‘abstraction.’ From the early icon-shaped minimalist panels trimmed with gold leaf, as a P.S.1 studio resident in the late ’70’s, to thickly manipulated paintings rich with byzantine color the underlying architectonic structure found in his current works, Bellinger’s practice is rooted in a love of cosmology and art history. Visceral and complex, these wild combinations are anchored by the shaped formats Bellinger creates, revealing their essence, what has been lost and what remains. We are pleased to have the opportunity to present Bellinger’s work to a wider audience, long overdue and much deserved.