Paintings by Stephen Goodman

11 Aug 2015 – 21 Sep 2015

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The Jam Factory

Oxford, United Kingdom


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Goodman's abstract paintings are the outcome of an unrestricted process, where varied materials, such as bitumen oil paint, acrylic and spray paint, are combined in an alchemical speculation.


Under my authority as creator, time, gravity, instability and chance bring the formlessness of fluids in to a state of coagulation until an eventual arrangement is realised through the drying process. For me, these patterns hold a significant affiliation with the geological and seismic occurrences of our planet. My canvases hold a beauty that alternately conceal and expose the extreme violence of the processes that they reflect - the eternal duality of destruction and re-creation that continues beneath our feet and that is meanwhile reflected in the world around us.

The results are attractive yet enigmatic - we need to be wary of their fragile beauty. Our desire to succumb to their charms is mitigated by our impending realisation of what these marks represent; it is a beauty found at the margins of violence and desire. 

Of course time is the ultimate force and its unstoppable power is evident in my artwork, as I continually engage with, and manipulate, it as an aid for creation. We are unable to control time, but these paintings embrace this lack of control and embrace progression, a natural component of time, and the joy of the unknown. The act of creating this work is a grounding experience for me, and I wish for this to translate to the viewer.

I have found a particular affinity for Iceland, the place where these internal forces meet the external world in the most spectacular fashion. Here myths and legends have been created in parallel as a means of human attempts at explanation. Similarly I aim to connect and mediate between these two worlds as I manipulate my chosen materials in an attempt to control these conflicting forces, whilst forging my own, ultimately contemporary, mythology. Together, the paintings begin to map an insight in to this imagined place, an aerial view of a fictitious yet familiar world. With titles such as ‘Eternal Rift Zone of The Poo-oo Oh Oh Place’ and ‘The Consequence Land’, this contemporary mythology is assigned an identity.


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