In tribute to Betty Goodwin (1923–2008), from February 19 to April 5, 2009, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
will exhibit seventeen works from its permanent collection that attest to this great Montreal artist’s unique and inspiring genius, as well as illustrate some of the high points of her artistic career.
Visitors will have the opportunity of discovering—or rediscovering—Carbon, a virtuoso work from 1986 that has not been exhibited for many years, some of her oils on tarpaulin and several prints from the 1970s “Vest” series, as well as some exquisite drawings from the 1990s. The selection of works tellingly demonstrates the many disciplines mastered by the artist.
“What concerns me above all else is getting to the very essence of a being.” Founded in drawing but making liberal use of art’s varied formal resources, the work of Betty Goodwin offers one of the most remarkable pages in the history of Canadian art. The artist deployed a stirring awareness of the fragility of the human condition and investigated the mysterious limits of existence—its origin, its end, its memory.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts devoted a major retrospective to Betty Goodwin in 1988 and asked her to create a monumental public piece in the Cultural Corridor of the Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion (Triptych, 1990–1991).
Stéphane Aquin, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, is responsible for the gallery’s presentation.