Following a solo exhibition of portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in 2014, Catherine Goodman showcases new larger landscapes and figures at Marlborough Fine Art.
Taking its title from the opening lines of Rilke’s poem, The Last House, the exhibition juxtaposes portraits of people and objects alongside large-scale landscapes, revealing different facets of Goodman’s creative imagination and its rich range of references drawn from life and art.
Some of the images from the National Portrait Gallery exhibition reappear – including Harry Parker, soldier, Afghanistan veteran, and acclaimed novelist – in a much less literal image in gestural oranges and reds.
“The portrait of Harry left an imprint on me”, says Goodman, “he has become an image of a wounded hero as artist and writer as well as muse.”
Moving freely between different genres, this exhibition reveals the scope of Goodman’s imaginative life and the ways in which she harnesses memory and narrative in her response to the world as a painter.
The diverse landscapes of Tuscany and the Himalayan mountains in India where she has painted for many years, continue to feed her recent works. Huts, palapas, and poplar trees become powerful presences in scenes where a sense of spatial ambiguity often makes the landscape seem unfamiliar. Typically painted from life on un-stretched canvas, her works are layered with imagined scenes and memories in the studio, without losing the immediacy of her original encounter with the subject.
Drawing has always been a fundamental component of Goodman’s practice, pursued alongside and invigorating her painting. Included in the exhibition are several works on paper created with pastels and paint sticks. Their subject matter and dynamic expressivity is closely connected to the larger canvases where she uses oil paint applied in bold brush strokes overlaid with animating skeins of colour.