While I have seen Goodman’s self-portraits numerous times, the unlikely combination of raw pathos and tenderness always stops me in my tracks.
In her art, Goodman seems to both revisit trauma and heal it. The results are moving and painful.
From limbless bodies to gorging, ravenous figures to gouged surfaces, there has always been something broken and deeply damaged about Goodman’s art.
“The thing that’s fascinating me now more than anything, is when a painting is right. What makes a painting right?”
Between 1994 and 2011, Goodman painted a series of self-portraits that constitute one of the most powerful and disturbing achievements of portraiture in modern art.
Goodman’s recent work is distressing, captivating, and weirdly funny.
A snapshot of a singularly unhinged moment in American politics has inadvertently envisioned an uncertain and potentially terrifying future.
One of the things that I admire about Brenda Goodman is her willingness to push a painting into a territory all its own. She isn’t interested in stylistic consistency or any of the other common denominators that can be used to brand one’s work.
2015 was the Year of the Whitney.
DETROIT — Brenda Goodman has been steadily doing her thing for decades, moving from early success within the Cass Corridor movement in her native Detroit, to a varied career in New York City, and finally to her current retreat in the relative sanctity of the Catskills.
It may be a stretch to say that portraiture is in the air — given that there are all of two exhibitions devoted to it in New York City right now, one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn — but their confluence can feel like the kind of Marxian (Groucho, not Karl) charge you get from watching a tradition-bound idiom seize up and explode.
I want to believe that this is the beginning of the art world’s real and enduring appreciation of Brenda Goodman’s hard won achievement.