Betty Goodwin (1923-2008) became a presence in the art scene of Montréal in the late 1960’s, a time when figurative works and Pop Art were each enjoying success. What is probably her most recognizable work, her vest prints, are from this era. Goodwin’s vests appear infused with life, almost as if they are ghosts without bodies. A correlation can be drawn between the floating fabric shapes and the human forms of her later work, also found in this exhibition. The vests are flattened in appearance, akin to dried flowers and though they rest on the surface of the paper, appear to have physical depth. The human figures in her later works also float, or perhaps drown, amongst clouds and space.
Goodwin’s work was not limited to printmaking and drawing. It also included collage, assemblage, sculpture and installation, examples of which are included in this thorough examination of her work. The works, though varied, each sensitively explore themes related to our fragile human condition.
Organized and circulated by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, this exhibition, from their permanent collection, serves to tell the story of one of the leading figures of contemporary Canadian art. The national tour of this exhibition has been made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through its Museums Assistance Program.