seraphin gallery, philadelphia, art gallery, fine art, contemporary art, robert goodman
"I am interested in the moment when one spatial order is replaced by another and a potentially dangerous new reality comes to focus. The rules for coherence are undermined and unity is cast into doubt. Conflicting fields rub together and show a new and unfamiliar terrain.
"My paintings present particular spaces or events occurring among multiple other particular spaces, events, and sensations. There is a sense of doom and optimism in the work as foreboding forms fracture and bright colors attempt to gain dominance over dark structures.
"The art historical languages of abstraction, surrealism, and impressionism form a basis for the work as rendered strokes counter large gestures. The tropical plants I grew up with in Florida insert themselves as prickly and spiked forms that threaten stability."
From Smoke and Mirrors, 2015
From Pulse, 2010 - 2014
1214 Sansom St Mural
Robert Goodman 2010 exhibition interview at Emory and Henry College
William Way Center
The Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Published: December 23, 2015
By: Michael Lieberman
Michael Lieberman finds himself in a rare state upon seeing Robert Goodman's latest work. There are just eight pieces in the show--so spend time with each one. -- Artblog editor
I’ve been trying, I think in vain, to place Robert Goodman’s work in an art historical perspective. For some reason, I keep returning to Georgia O’Keeffe and Helen Frankenthaler. To their blended colors and fluid margins; to the luminescence that you sometimes find in their work; to their sensitivity. But then Goodman takes an unexpected turn and tiptoes into the realm of the magician’s smoke and mirrors, in which figurative and other objects seem to appear or disappear, or are hidden within abstractions like Rorschachs.
Goodman entices the viewer to pass through the surface of his paintings: “As viewers traverse the space of my works, the paintings break down and reorganize around them.” Reminds me of Buster Keaton as a projectionist in “Sherlock Jr.,” dreaming of walking down the aisle of the theater and jumping into the film, which has been transformed into the mystery story and romance that he is struggling with in his life. Not all of the pieces in Goodman’s show at Seraphin had that effect upon me, but half of them did. It was a feeling of visceral engagement that for me distinguishes art I appreciate from art that that moves me. Like the great abstract expressionists and the Color Field painters, Goodman captures the glorious spirit of the natural world, including the natural world of our emotions.
There are only eight pieces in this exhibition. Four larger canvases and four works on paper of varying sizes, including collage. Three of them are reproduced here. Goodman’s combinations of media—mixes of oil, acrylic, gouache, graphite, and spray paint—are brilliant and unique. One of the most impressive elements of his work is its depth and movement, with bursts of dashing color that emerge from unusual darkness, darkness that is subtly infected with its own color or light. It is fascinating to experience Goodman’s almost psychological use of color: on the one hand you find unexpected, but completely harmonious and flat, melded color blends, such as the amazing orange, white, and gray combinations in his “Cut and Restored,” and in other works dense walls of deep intricate marks of colors like those found in “False Cut”.
The centerpiece of the show is Goodman’s “Untitled,” reproduced here. This to me is Goodman at his finest: the brilliant contrast of light, color, and darkness, the ambiguity of direction, the mysterious, luminescent, transformative power of the cylindrical object that dominates the canvas. I found his more abstract pieces, such as this one, more provocative than those that obliquely engage representational elements, with the exception perhaps of “Cut and Restored,” which is quite compelling. In all of his work, Goodman is fearless and unself-conscious, and these are the forces that catalyze the euphoria and tension that he is shooting to elicit in his painting.
Robert Goodman is chairman of Fine Arts at Moore College of Art. He has exhibited extensively in the Philadelphia area and nationwide, and his work is on display in public collections at the Woodmere Art Museum and the William Way Center.
I tend to find myself at a loss for words when faced with artwork or literature that affects me deeply, and here that certainly is the case. Goodman’s is work that must be seen and experienced. Don’t miss it.
Robert Goodman’s Smoke and Mirrors at Seraphin Gallery runs through Jan. 24, 2016.
August 29, 2012
By: Peter Crimmins
A new mural has gone up on a wall in Center City Philadelphia. Don't blink or you'll miss it.
Dubbed "Freewall," a program of temporary outdoor murals has been launched at 12th and Sansom streets.
Sansom Street, between 12th and 13th, might be one of the noisiest blocks in Philadelphia. Garbage bays, construction crews, and helicopters on the roof of nearby Jefferson Hospital create an urban din. Awkward slashes of sunlight slicing between towering buildings create their own cacophony of shadows.
On a wall overlooking a parking lot next to Fergie's Pub, an abstraction of color and shape swirl across stucco. The lines could have been made by a subtle flick of a wrist, had they been put on a canvas in an artist's studio. But these are on an enormous scale. Some passers-by say it looks like a stampede of horses on fire.
"It's a collection of sensations," said artist Robert Goodman, who tailored the mural specifically for this location. "The sensation of being in this space. Sensations of seeing a mark that appears handmade with a small gesture but knowing it's a big form. Having a sense of being overwhelmed by broad architectural shapes."
The mural, called "The Tumble," is temporary. It is the first of the "Freewall" series, which will be whitewashed in six months to make way for a new mural. The idea was hatched by the owner of Fergie's Pub--Fergie Carey--and artist David Guinn.
Guinn has worked many times with Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and its signature community-based development process. But he wanted the content of "Freewall" to be a personal expression of the artist, not the larger community. That's why it's temporary.
"That was part of the bargain with not having a community process," said Guinn. "If you're going to have something put up permanently, there's a responsibility to make sure everybody's on board. If you're going to put up something temporarily, people can assess, enjoy, criticize, but it isn't something anyone's going to have to live with permanently."
'Spirit of adventure' infuses short-lived work
Impermanence grants the artist freedom a typical mural does not.
"If I had thought this was going to be here forever, I think I would have had less of a spirit of adventure," said Goodman. "Knowing that it would be temporary, there were some freedoms I allowed myself that were important for this project to be successful."
Temporary also means it's cheaper. Artists can use regular house paint instead of tougher, more expensive mural paint. The $2,500 needed to make "Tumble" was raised through Kickstarter (plus an additional $200 for, well, kicks), and Guinn says the next mural, to come in the spring, will require another fundraising effort.
Artists will be chosen through an application process. The next artist to follow Goodman has not yet been determined.
Fergie Carey, of Fergie's Pub, lives in the Bella Vista neighborhood and watched as Guinn's mural "Autumn," at Ninth and Bainbridge, became the centerpiece of a real estate fight between neighbors who loved the mural and a developer whose rowhouse would obscure it. The developer won.
That happened just as the building next to Carey's bar in Center City was torn down to make room for a new development. Carey offered his bar's newly exposed exterior wall to Guinn.
Just as the murals on "Freewall" are temporary, "Freewall" itself may be fleeting. Carey says a new building -- a tower -- is in the early planning stages. Once completed, it will eliminate that exposed wall space.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
By Edith Newhall
November 8, 2009
By Edith Newhall
Philadelphia has no shortage of artists of all ages making gestural, colorful, mostly abstract paintings, but Robert Goodman reenergizes this manner of painting with so much painterly bravado, and with such broad references to art history, nature, and popular culture (including digital technology), that his paintings manage to stand out. If you saw his immense painting Net at Moore College of Art & Design last summer, you've seen what I mean.
Goodman can fit a world into a smaller painting, too, though, as his current show at Seraphin Gallery demonstrates. Geo (2009), a sprawling work with intersecting planes of DayGlo orange, parrot green, and hot pink against a grid of like-minded colors, and Geo II, about half its dimensions and also from this year, prove the point ecstatically.
By Edith Newhall