Submitted Review

Jennifer Goodman ‘Colour’

  • Gallery Smith • Melbourne

  • 11 March—24 April 2020

  • Alan R. Dodge • Published 05 April 2020

Jennifer Goodman’s current exhibition is aptly named ‘Colour’, for upon entering Gallery Smith one is surrounded by works, some which employ veils of sumptuous colour while others using attenuating forms make colour dance across the canvas. Both types of work mark an ongoing evolution by the artist to move away from explorations of the opportunities of the grid into more fanciful fields of expression.

On one wall, three monumental vertical works employ folding and overlapping forms in transparent layers. However, like earlier works, what appears to be overlapping layers of paint are in fact distinct colours juxtaposed to give the feeling of semi-transparent swaths of colour. In one particular work ‘Opera’, 2019, white plays a starring role, making a strong foray into the composition adding a touch of drama to the colour-scape.

A second set of works are the outcome of experiments by the artist to find a dynamic from eccentric forms in strategically thoughtful arrangements of colours. These works grew out of experiments from almost a decade ago in which Jennifer Goodman was looking for ways out of the grid. Organic forms became more whimsical. Further, a breakthrough development found the artist making two sets of works: one from positive collage forms and another from the offcuts left from making these forms. This process has resulted in some of Goodman’s most lyrical works. In ‘Float’, 2019, and the imposing ‘Celestial’ also of 2019, elongated shapes worm their way into the composition, colliding, overlapping and playing against each other, all on a white ground.

Whereas works like ‘Opera’ hark back to thoughts of a legacy of artists like American Morris Louis (1912-62), the two 2019 works, ‘Float’ and ‘Celestial’ are more likely to evoke memories of Henri Matisse’s paper cut-outs.

In the exhibition, Jennifer Goodman has also exhibited collage works, smaller oils on linen and needlework versions of explorations which have emerged in her latest works on show.