Betty Roodish Goodwin
1923 - 2008
oil on board
on verso numbered "BG-T-(1950-56)-27" on a label and stamped "Studio Betty Goodwin"
10 x 7 in, 25.4 x 17.8 cm
Estimate: $1,200 - $1,600
Sold for: $1,000
Estate of the Artist
Rosemarie L. Tovell, The Prints of Betty Goodwin, the National Gallery of Canada, 2002, page 15
In this early self-portrait, Betty Goodwin presents a striking and modern image of herself. The basis for the composition is traditional: in three quarter profile, a warm yellow light falls over the left side of Goodwin’s face and casts a shadow on the roughly rendered background. Portraiture tradition ends there, as bold blocks of vivid colour are favoured over realism and depth. The blue jacket is rendered with particular lushness and an awkwardly foreshortened arm draws attention to delicately dangling fingers - possibility anticipating the fragmented figures of her later work.
Shortly after purchasing a small bed etching press in 1954, Goodwin created a series of four self-portrait etchings. Like this work, Self Portrait One and Self Portrait Three, in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, present Goodwin in three quarter profile with softly pursed lips. This self-portrait is dated circa 1950 – 1956, and may have completed in the same period as these etchings.
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