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by Joe Goode

Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 29.5 x 59.5
Purchased through a National Endowment for the Arts grant, 1973

Untitled by Joe Goode

The Artwork

In this playful oil on canvas work, Joe Goode depicts three sheets of paper seemingly caught in the wind. On each of these sheets is a white amorphic shape on a field of blue. The sheets appear suspended in a field of pinks and purples. The artist has essentially presented two divergent ways of presenting clouds. It seems that the artist has reminded us that even when we view an incredibly realistic painting, we are looking at a flat representation of nature, not nature. The artist shares this realization with the viewer in a jovial manner, as the painting can also be interpreted as 'three sheets to the wind.'

The Artist

Joe Goode was born in 1937 in Oklahoma City, where he attended St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School along with friend and fellow artist Ed Ruscha.

In 1959, a group of young Oklahoma artists including Goode, along with Robert Bonaparte, Jerry McMillan, Ed Ruscha, and Mason Williams,headed west on Route 66 to Los Angeles to make their mark on the art world. That year, Goode enrolled at the Chouinard Art Institute where he studied until 1961. Goode's work began a slow rise to prominence following a seminal 1962 exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum, where his work was shown alongside works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Dine, Wayne Thiebaud, and Ed Ruscha. This exhibition helped put 'Pop Art' on the map.

Since then, Goode has incorporated conceptual and surreal elements, and become a well-established artist, represented in numerous collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum in New York.

Goode, for example, is known for his adaptations of household objects that evoke his upbringing in Oklahoma. Ed Ruscha remarked that “Joe would laugh at the nobleness of a fried-egg sandwich, or even a telephone, and then, sometime in the future, would find himself painting pictures of these very things,” Ruscha continued, “Even the abstract paintings [by Goode] contain a nagging tie to his past.”