Long-time Greenhut artist Alison Goodwin, best known for her whimsical, vividly imaginative paintings, opens her 10th Greenhut solo show, Ragged Bounty, with a reception from 5-7:00 pm on November 1, 2018. The show continues until December 1.
Goodwin’s iridescent, bold, and vibrant paintings are marked by their playful exuberance as well as a deep and abiding reverence for the state of Maine and its inhabitants. Having grown up on the southern Maine coast and now living in Portland and Rockland, the artist’s love and affinity for the region lies both on her sleeve and at the cellular level.
Included in this exhibition (along with landscapes and other subjects) are the latest of several iterations of Goodwin’s fishermen saints. Living among fishermen most of her life, she has cultivated a fascination for watching them work — often from her front porch or kayak. Goodwin paints portraits of these fishermen, encircling their heads in golden halos, canonizing them as icons of Maine’s ragged bounty. These works reveal Goodwin’s respect and gratitude for the harvesters of the sea and for their role in developing our close relationship with the natural world. This work conveys what the artist describes as a certain “reverence for the way they make a living, battling nature day after day.” She feels that these fisherman “not only keep Maine honest but give it a holiness.”
Influenced by Hundertwasser, Klimt, Matisse and Calder, Goodwin’s work throughout her career is characterized both by her use of turbulent, saturated color and by the delightfully skewed perspectives of her compositions, typically depicting unruly landscapes, expressive interiors, and kinetic villages. Goodwin’s voice is energetic and funky, hip-yet-sincere. Though her work boldly references many masters, her style is unique, and distinctively her own. As art historian Shannon Egan put it: “By taking Gauguin’s halo, van Gogh’s colors, Matisse’s patterns, and Picasso’s ambiguities of subject and space, Goodwin presents a complicated marriage of particular art-historical references. She avoids pastiche and instead finds originality in a careful use of a visual and historical language. Goodwin translates the pictorial concerns of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century artists into a new vision for contemporary painting.”
Each of her paintings is built on layers of patterns and geometric designs which combine to create larger constructive elements. Goodwin often explores these elements in graphic charcoal drawings and abstract paintings that amplify these characteristics. Her abstract work thus builds new forms which transfer to successive cycles of paintings.
Alison Goodwin graduated from the University of Southern Maine (1981) and Portland School of Art (now Maine College of Art)(1984). Her work is included in private and corporate collections regionally and throughout the world, including those of Grown Brothers Harriman & Company, Wellesley College, Pierce Atwood, Nelson Kinder & Mosseau, Fletcher Allen Health Care, and National Semiconductor.