“The shadows are everything, imbuing unexpected meaning. They are unplanned, undefined, but dependent upon the viewer emotionally or psychologically. Shadows hide and reveal, form emerges and disappears.”
In her latest solo exhibition, Into Light, Eileen Goodman’s watercolor facility is on bold display. Since her transition away from oil paint in the late ’80s, Goodman has skillfully tamed this temperamental, aqueous media for use in her abundant, large-scale still life paintings. When creating work, she is focused on the basic components of observation, color, light, and shadow. It is only upon reflection, after deep shadows have defined their purpose, that possible interpretations come to light.
Beginning with an arrangement of objects, such as fresh flowers or vegetables, Goodman utilizes photography to preserve their appearance and capture a particular tone. She then crops and adjusts a printed version of the photograph to construct a desired composition. Once satisfied, the painting commences with washes of transparent pigments on white paper. Select areas are thoughtfully conserved for future highlights while the rest of the image is pushed into the paper, delineating shape and space.
Eileen Goodman views her job as that of a formal and technical creator rather than a conceptual theorist for visual information; a viewpoint shared by many artists who came of age during the mid-20th century. In many of her works, undefined shadows are akin to an abyss. The objects depicted sit precariously between an unknown background and illumination from a light source. As a result of these formal decisions, narratives and metaphors abound. Layers of dense pigment reflect the passage of time, with each shadowy layer pulling Goodman’s bouquets, cakes, and produce into distant realms and times.
Eileen Goodman received her BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art (University of the Arts) in 1958 and has since become an important figure in the Philadelphia painting community. She has exhibited her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions across Philadelphia and the northeast region. Her work resides in local collections both public and private including Merck Pharmaceutical, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Woodmere Art Museum, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, and many others. Goodman has won numerous awards for her work and has been featured in many articles, reviews and books. Eileen Goodman lives and works in Philadelphia.
“As for color, I’ve been intrigued with its properties from the beginning. I am interested in how light, placement and background affects color, and how seeing and experiencing it makes us feel.”
Color and abstraction have been the driving forces in Keith Breitfeller’s studio practice since his formative years. His signature method encourages regular experimentation within a set of laid-out parameters, and has evolved over time to produce a consistent body of simplified, gradient color field paintings.
Respite delivers a blissful array of Breitfeller’s quietly varied compositions. While works appear in different sizes and colors, inconspicuous differences occur beneath the persistent layers of ‘ticked’ spots that pulsate with chroma. Some paintings incorporate obscured shapes, creating shadowy forms when viewed from certain angles and lighting, while others are conceived as sets of rotating colors. Breitfeller also utilizes reflective materials, complementary or analogous color combinations, and expressive paint application. An intentional measure, the field of color stops short of the edges of the canvas, exposing a glimpse of the complex world beneath.
These details serve to draw the viewer into any number of imaginative experiences. One might feel they are being absorbed into a peaceful blizzard of blues, enveloped by a grove of blooming, pink dogwood trees, or showered with red confetti. Altogether, the exhibition invites a slow, mindful approach in order to fully appreciate the subtleties amongst the paintings, resulting in an immersive and rewarding viewing experience.
Keith R. Breitfeller was raised in Catasauqua, a small town in eastern Pennsylvania, and later attended Kutztown College. Now residing in Philadelphia, Keith has exhibited locally for 30 years with solo exhibits at Vox Populi, Sande Webster Gallery, Abington Art Center and Perkin’s Center for the Arts. Outside of the region, he has shown in Texas, Tennessee, Massachusetts and in Austria. His work is included in many private and corporate collections in Athens, London, Dubai and throughout the Northeast. He has completed a number of commissions in his signature style. This is his first solo exhibition with Gross McCleaf Gallery.