With our upcoming exhibition, “Mark Goodwin—An Introduction” BigTown Gallery is pleased to present a show devoted entirely to the work of sculptor/artist Mark Goodwin. Mark has shown work previously at BigTown, but only in group shows, so we are excited—both for ourselves and for the gallery's audience—at this first opportunity to view a more comprehensive, in-depth presentation of his work.
This exhibition is a timely one in that it corresponds to Goodwin's integration into his working process of a host of changes brought on by the artist's move from working in and among the wide-open, literally, exterior spaces of New Mexico to the mostly interior studio environment that he has developed since relocating to Vermont in 2008. Goodwin's responses to the changes in his working process, which he readily attributes to the differences in these two environments, are definitively displayed in his recent work. Whereas his previous work was conceived, created, and installed almost entirely out of doors, and thus reflected the expansive quality of that environment, for these new works, Goodwin has come indoors, resulting in a major shift, not only in the materials he uses to make his art, and in how he approaches that intention but, in particular, how the form of the work itself has been altered. In response to the circumstances of studio and process, Goodwin's most recent work has moved from the totemic and expansive to something more meditative, detailed, and interior.
The artist's more recent choices of materials and mediums—extending to include significant changes in his own responses to both his work and to his working process—may be seen, in a sense, as deriving from Goodwin's recent renovation of his Victorian home in Randolph, VT; especially in the way that, in his second floor two room studio, the quantity of light available to inform the work, and its making, is instrumental in drawing forth his responses. Likewise, the artist's close proximity to the off-products of both his studio process and the renovation has resulted in a new ease in incorporating those products into either the making of the work at hand, or the creation of subsequent pieces. Milk paint, oil paint, glue used in the renovation, as well as the hand woven fabric Goodwin's wife, Bhakti Ziek, produced for him in her third floor studio. These diverse materials, the commitment of his method, the ever-changing quantity and quality of light—all combine as if they were equal elements essential to energizing the process of finding his way with the act of making art.
Most of the pieces in the show are new—that is, created since Goodwin's move to Vermont. They represent a new direction for the artist, as well as recording his artistic response to his new environment. The architectural considerations of his everyday world building—reconstructing, making, dreaming—incorporate his travels into his inventive sculptural paintings and drawings. Molding the works by creasing, folding, and embossing the milk-painted surfaces of the paper and fabric, raises a topography that finds the light. The integrity of Goodwin's artistic process is evident, certifying the authenticity of the products of that process, while informing the particular result seen in any individual piece.
In such a context, we may view the artist himself as the work most continually in progress, and the continual shaping of the integrity of artistic process as being the artist's most consistent and dynamic contribution to the work.
BigTown Gallery . 99 North Main Street . Rochester, Vermont 05767