Artwork by Betty Roodish Goodwin,  Two Male Figures

Betty Goodwin
Two Male Figures

mixed media on mylar
signed and dated 1997 lower right; inscribed quote from Leonardo Da Vinci upon the inside of the framing glass
17 x 11 ins ( 43.2 x 27.9 cms ) ( sheet )

Auction Estimate: $8,000.00$6,000.00 - $8,000.00

Price Realized $6,490.00
Sale date: November 19th 2019

Collection of the artist
Private Collection, Montreal
Rober Racine, “Surely She’s Seen Me Looking at Them...”, in The Art of Betty Goodwin, Matthew Teitelbaum and Jessica Bradley (eds.), Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1998, pages 76-77
Jessica Bradley, Betty Goodwin: Signs of Life, Art Gallery of Windsor, 1995, page 22
“Two Male Figures” reveals the human form in Goodwin’s signature highly expressive manner. Her trademark “floating figures” invoke universal themes of existence, life, death and memory, concerns which resonate with the viewer. Discussing similar works in 1988, Rober Racine writes that:

“[T]he subjects take each other in their arms, let themselves go. They shout each other’s heads off, bodies off. They float in an embrace, emerge, regenerate and burst, torn to pieces... They possess a force which wakens us to form, to the beauty of natural movement, the beauty of taking the other’s body and biting an ear off if it doesn’t hear our cry of love... They demonstrate that we must touch one another, meld into each other.”

Despite the strong sense of loss and despair often encountered in her drawings, they likewise seem to “embody a resilience, a sense of possibility and renewal within the work itself.”

A quote from Leonardo da Vinci, inscribed upon the inside of the framing glass, reads:

“But in what terms
am I able to describe
the abominable
and awful evils
against which know
human resource

Share this item with your friends

Betty Roodish Goodwin
(1923 - 2008)

A renowned Canadian printmaker, painter, and sculptor, Betty Roodish Goodwin (born Montréal, March 19, 1923; died Montréal December 1, 2008) began her career in the visual arts in the late 1940s. Largely self-taught, Goodwin’s practice evolved from drawing to experimentations with other media. Out of her many experimental efforts with mark-making as a student of Yves Gaucher at Sir George Williams School (now Concordia) University in the late 1960s, she discovered engraving and etching, which became her primary means of expression. Later, as an accomplished sculptor, painter, and installation artist, she tended to work in series.

Robert Ayre noted, “...I would say she is essentially the painter. She scarcely differentiates her forms; anatomy concerns her no more than it does Jean Dubuffet or Jan Muller. She flattens them out; runs them together. She is conscious always of the human dilemma, the drama of the ‘Dybbuk,’ and the tragedy of ‘Leavetaking’, of ‘The trial’--but not the individual is nameless, part of the crowd, a dissolving member of the eternal flux. It isn’t however, a drab and hopeless tide, for Betty Goodwin’s colour is gorgeous.”

A recipient of several honours, Goodwin was chosen to represent Canada in the 1995 Venice Biennial. Other notable awards included the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award of the Canada Council for the Arts in 1981, the Banff Centre National Award for Visual Arts in 1984, the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas in 1986, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1988, and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize in 1995. Goodwin was the first recipient of the Harold Town Prize for Drawing in 1998, and in 2003 she received the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts. Throughout her career she also received honorary doctorates from various Canadian universities, including the University of Guelph, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Montreal.