Franklin Parrasch Gallery is pleased to present Joe Goode: Works from the 1960’s. This small but inclusive show provides a glimpse of the artist’s development throughout this extremely productive period of his career. Iconic examples by the artist from virtually every major series of the decade are included.
A native of Oklahoma City, Goode was drawn to the warmth of Los Angeles in 1960 at the behest of fellow artists and high school friends Jerry McMillan and Ed Ruscha. Once there Goode enrolled at the famed Chouinard Art Institute where his bond with instructors Emerson Woelffer and Robert Irwin helped engage the basis for his approach to abstract painting.
Goode’s career began in earnest in 1962 when his first major body of work, known collectively as “Milk Bottle Paintings” was exhibited at L.A.’s Dilexi Gallery. Each richly textured, monochromatically painted canvas reads as a vast plane, devoid of composition save a narrow horizontal band along the lower edge or a silhouette of the milk bottle placed before it. The impact of these “Milk Bottles” was immediate. Pasadena Museum curator at that time, Walter Hopps, included two examples in his 1962 landmark exhibition The New Paintings of Common Objects and an image of one was reproduced on the November cover of Artforum that year. In his assessment of the show, Artforum editor John Coplans wrote, “They represent a totally new and radically different approach to a quest for identity. He (Goode) sets a standard in the use of objects not to be surpassed, creating a whole new sense of logic of structure in our time.”
In many ways, Goode’s application of a milk bottle was a gesture designed to derail the sanctimonious nature of Abstract Expressionism, which he admired but felt had “hit a dead end in the road.” As critic Michael Duncan notes, “Goode set out his milk bottles in front of their monochromatic fields as if daring us to refill them with the spiritual purity of abstract painting.”
Though Goode’s early work was often associated with contemporaneous “Pop Art” inclusions of mass-produced bottles and other common objects, appropriation served only to propel his investigations into the process of seeing. Throughout the early 1960’s, much of the analysis of Goode’s work focused on its associations with earlier precedents by Jasper Johns. Goode himself often recounts his admiration of Johns’ work when he first encountered it at the Ferus Gallery in the early 1960’s. But Goode’s interest in perception, and with painting as a vehicle for seeing, is less obviously, but perhaps even more significantly, informed by his relationship with photography. The House series (in which Goode inserted drawn renderings of appropriated real estate listing snapshots within a scraped-off section of a monochromatically painted field) is more conceptually linked to works by contemporaries addressing photo-based concerns, such as Vija Celmins and John Baldessari, than to the earlier examples of Johns.
Photography continues as a central role in Goode’s Unmade Bed, and Photo Cloud series, in which cropped vistas and contrasting planes of reference draw from the cool mechanical memory of the lens. Goode contrasts imagery of crumpled, used bed sheets with snapshots of clouds floating above the chromatic haze of a particle-infused sky. The triptych format crops and disrupts the horizontal flow of the vista shrouded in a reflective, plexiglas case as Goode intends the viewing of this work to be a self-conscious experience. Continued focus on cloud and sky imagery dominated most of Goode’s work throughout the following decade.
The work of Joe Goode has been featured in over one hundred solo exhibitions internationally, including a survey exhibition at the Fort Worth Art Center Museum in 1973, and a retrospective exhibition at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA in 1997. Goode’s work resides in the permanent collections of dozens of prominent museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Menil Collection, Houston.