March 23 - May 13, 2017
“Old Ideas with New Solutions,” features significant new paintings by prominent California Light/Space and Conceptual artist, Joe Goode, opening on his 80th Birthday, Thursday, March 23rd at Kohn Gallery. The works on view from four major series titled Milk Bottle, Ocean Blue, California Summer and TV Blues, will occupy the main and adjacent galleries. Goode’s paintings of the sea’s blue depths are profoundly alluring, while human impact on the ocean threatens catastrophe. The heat of California Summer is vivid and ravishing until the notion of global warming surfaces. Pulchritude and decay; semblance and structure; beauty and the beast. Employing this strategy throughout his career Goode molded his work into a poignantly inextricable mix of stunning attraction and jarring realism.
Celebrating Goode’s prolific, sixty year long career and this latest exhibition, Kohn Gallery is thrilled to release a major monographic publication, Joe Goode: Paintings 1960-2016, with an introduction by Ed Ruscha and text by Kristine McKenna. The 220 page tome shows numerous examples of painting and sculpture from 1960 to the present.
Goode is a seminal figure in the development of the Los Angeles art scene in the early 1960s. His work was included in the 1962 groundbreaking exhibit, “New Painting of Common Objects,” curated by Walter Hopps at the Pasadena Art Museum (now Norton Simon Museum). This historical exhibition included artists, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Ed Ruscha among others, and is considered the first museum Pop Art exhibition in the United States. It earned Goode critical acclaim, while securing his place in art history.
From the 1961 Milk Bottle paintings to his latest works, Goode has consistently questioned the nature of experience through the continuous refinement of this basic, conceptual theme. Goode’s Pop works from the 1960s to mid 1970s (Milk Bottles, Houses and Clouds, et al.) questions the authenticity of experience through the illustrative style of reproducing reproductions (Polaroids, houses, spoons, glasses, shadows of milk bottles), while also enveloping these images in a traditionally elegant abstract painting. After more than a half a century of producing innovative paintings, sculptures, works on paper, prints and photographs, Joe Goode is integral to the story of American art.
Goode’s reinvention of his early themes always produces something new, often incorporating a practice of experimentation with a variety of materials. In the catalogue, Goode states, “…if I can’t find a new way of seeing something then I’m not interested in it”. The paintings in this exhibition are brought to life with the artist’s masterful use of color and continual shift of perception, moving between the margins of the literal and the abstract.
In the new Milk Bottle series, Goode explores representation and abstraction as the works confront the viewer with an object coming forward to engage in their space. In other works, the point of view of the bottle is flipped and exists on the same plane as the painting, interacting in a new way and bridging the two. Recent works also include Goode’s notable study of destruction by coating splattered “milk” on the monochromatic background. The recent Ocean Blue series is a powerful ode to nature, and furthers perceptual inquiry. The enveloping and luminous colors come not from the reflection of the surface of the water, but the perspective of the viewer fully submerged in the ocean’s boundless expanse. California Summer resumes his investigation into the natural environment unique to southern California. Fiery, rich colors from the setting emerge through his dissection of reality. Lastly, and most recently, the TV Blues series draws from the themes of Ocean Blue and California Summer. Goode’s commanding use of blue color fields from the previous series reverberates in these works. The paintings offer the viewer a scene of nature through the rectangular shape of a television screen.