Artists You Should Know: Betty Goodwin by Erika Jacobs

The work of Betty Goodwin is fluid, ethereal, and fragile. Figures float or fall through transparent layers, thick tarpaulins hang as sculpture, and artifacts become x-rays. Using a variety of media, Goodwin’s work is frequently raw and autobiographical, revisiting themes and materials over and over again.

The Big Deal: Produces work prolifically, in collage, sculpture, printmaking, and etching. Goodwin’s breakthrough takes place in late 1960s in the printmaking studio. Instead of drawing on the plate, she takes her work gloves, places them on a prepared printing plate and runs them through the press. The gloves are followed by other objects such as vests, nests, notes, and parcels. Her career spans forty years.

Life In Brief: Born and raised in Montreal to Romainian immigrant parents. Her father dies when she is 9 years old. After high school, she studies design at Valentine’s Commercial School of Art in Montreal; begins career as a printmaker. She receives a Guggenheim fellowship in 1988. Shows internationally, as well as continuing to exhibit in Montreal. Is chosen to represent Canada in the Venice Biennial in 1995. In 2003, is made an Officer of the Order of Canada. She dies in December 2008 in Montreal.

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Erika Jacobs is a Toronto-based freelance photographer and the co-creator of the Knock Twice blog, which is where a version of this post originally appeared. It's is an online resource to assist and inform budding creative professionals. You can visit Knock Twice here.


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