Betty Goodwin is one of Canada's most accomplished and influential artists, and her powerful works about death, loss and the traces of life have influenced a generation of Canadian artists. "Her work is not a catalogue of distress," Anne Michaels writes, but "a record of hope in its most distilled form, potent and fiercely earned." To celebrate a careeer that spans more than fifty years, this beautifully produced book presents Goodwin's most important work as well as many early paintings and prints published for the first time.
Born in 1923 in Montreal, Betty Goodwin is largely self-taught and made her breakthrough as a leading Canadian artist in the early 1970s. She uses various media and techniques, from etching to installation, to investigate the being and presence of the human body. Her work is in the collection of many public art institutions in Canada and has been exhibited internationally.
In the introduction, Anne Michaels links the intense experience of looking at Goodwin's work to the paradox of disappearance and materialization. Matthew Teitelbaum's essay traces the thematic developments in Goodwin's early work, specifically addressing the place of mourning in her art, and Jessica Bradley's conversation with Goodwin sheds new light on the artist's process. Robert Racine's afterword offers a personal reflection on Goodwin's achievement, and Anne-Marie Ninacs' chronology presents many new biographical facts on the artist's work and life.
This book was published in partnership with the National Gallery of Canada.
About the authors
Jessica Bradley, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario and formerly Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, has curated numerous exhibitions including a number of projects with Betty Goodwin. Among them, she organized the exhibition of Betty Goodwin: Signs of Life (National Gallery fo Canada and Art Gallery of Windsor).
Matthew Teitelbaum, Director of the Art Gallery of Ontario and formerly curator at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, MS, has organized a range of Canadian and international exhibitions including Paterson Ewen: Early Weathers/Heavenly Skies (AGO) in 1996.
Anne Michaels is a writer based in Toronto. Her novel, Fugitive Pieces, won the Trillium Prize and the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award in Canada, the Orange Prize and the Guardian Fiction Award in the UK, and a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction in the US. Her two poetry collections, The Weight of Oranges and Miner's Pond, have received high acclaim.
Robert Racine, Montreal interdisciplinary artist and writer, is known for his use of language, literature, music and performance based on repetition and poetics. He has been a friend of Betty Goodwin and an admirer of her work for many years.
Anne-Marie Ninacs is a Montreal freelance researcher with MA degrees in both Art History and Museum Studies. She co-ordinating the 1998 Montreal exhibition Peinture Peinture, a major survey of contemporary Quebec abstract painting curated by Rene Blouin and Gaston St-Pierre.