Thursday, October 21, 2010

Featured Artist: John Goodman

John Goodman, Tremont Street 4x, 1978

Our most recent show with John Goodman was a group show, "Boston Combat Zone: 1968 - 1978" this past February with Roswell Angier and Jerry Berndt.  The show featured photographs by Goodman from early in his career, and was extremely well received both within the Boston community and beyond.  The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is opening a new show, Exposed next week, which will be running through April 17th, 2011 and features a photograph from the Combat Zone series.
Exposed comes to San Francisco from the Tate Modern in London. SFMOMA Exhibit

Five photographs from that series were recently added to the d├ęcor of Towne, a restaurant recently opened by Jasper White and Lydia Shire in the Hynes Convention Center in Boston's Back Bay. Towne Across the street from Towne at the Back Bay Social Club, another recently opened restaurant and bar, are several photographs from Goodman's Times Square Gym Series. BBSC

In an interview from Boston Magazine on December 10th, 2009, John very eloquently talks about his experience in the Combat Zone in the 1970s, when he took the photographs from the series:

"In the early 1970's I had my first photo studio in a skylit kitchen in "the Roof" of the old Bradford Hotel on Tremont Street at the edge of the Combat Zone. I had just completed studying photography with Minor White in Cambridge and was drawn to the relentless energy in urban streets both in Boston and in New York City. I always had a camera at the ready and it seemed as though my presence was for the most part welcomed.

I have always been interested in areas of transition, edge cultures, and the Combat Zone provided me with a window into a world of decadence set against relics, and artifacts of a much older Boston, a city that has always resonated with me.

The streets were energized, chaotic, and the small clubs that ran along Washington Street beckoned patrons with their provocative neon signs. It seems as though in our post Combat Zone era things have relocated to the internet but in 1975 - 1978 when I photographed there, the Combat Zone was in plain view, right out in the streets. It never slept."

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a BA in History, John Goodman studied with Minor White in Cambridge from 1972-1974. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and the London Times.  John's photographs are in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Public Library, The Fogg Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and SF/MoMA. He is on the faculty at the Art Institute of Boston and teaches at the Maine Media Workshops. Joyce Carol Oates reviewing Goodman's monograph The Times Square Gym  states that "John Goodman's camera, is not an instrument of detachment, analysis, or judgment, but an iris of an eye that is our own, dissolving ostensible barriers between object and subject." He is presently working on his next book.
John Goodman has had his work reviewed by several important authors such as this review by Joyce Carol Oates and Mark Feeny's review of the Combat Zone show at Howard Yezerski Gallery from the Boston Globe.

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