Montreal 1923 – Montreal 2008
Charcoal powder, wax, oil pastel, pastel, graphite, oil and gesso on dimpled galvanized aluminum
275 x 975.6 cm
Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 1987.13a-h
Quebec and Canadian Art
Betty Goodwin’s work addresses the fragility and uncertainty of existence through themes of the body, loss, mourning and passage. This monumental drawing by the Montreal native shows bodies listening to one another, using gravity to bend and fold in concert.
The figures are anonymous. Rather than focusing on their faces, Goodwin focuses on the expressions of their body, gestures of lift, support and surrender reminiscent of dance. The corporeal aspect of the drawing is heightened by the dense materiality of the oil pastel and wax. Drawn to multiple disciplines of creative expression, Goodwin worked on various occasions with dancers and choreographers whose influence radiates in this work.