For more than sixty years, Virginia-born artist Judith Godwin has explored abstract painting, recording motion and gesture with brushstrokes on canvas. Her dynamic compositions, layered with drips and splatters of paint, epitomize the “action painting” of the 1950s. Yet, when Godwin moved to New York in 1953, few women had gained acceptance in the art world, particularly those who were abstract painters. The paintings in this exhibition span the length of Godwin’s career, from the mid-20th to the early 21st century, demonstrating her remarkably persistent commitment to establishing and expanding her own abstract language.
Gesture also places Godwin’s work within the context of gestural paintings by a diverse group of artists in VMFA’s collection such as Adolph Gottlieb, Norman Lewis, Benjamin Wigfall, Hedda Sterne, James Brooks, Theodoros Stamos, and Joan Mitchell. By drawing attention to the multiplicity of artists who used abstraction for an array of purposes, this exhibition pushes the traditional boundaries of Abstract Expressionism and showcases the wide reaches of its legacy.
Judith Godwin: Early Abstractions, featuring 25 paintings Godwin produced in the 1950s and 1960s, runs concurrently at VCUarts Anderson Gallery located at 907 1/2 West Franklin Street, Richmond, VA. Phone 804.828.1522 or visit
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Posted on April 10, 2013The following artworks were approved by the VMFA board of trustees in March 2013. All works of art are purchased... Read more
Posted on July 15, 2012The following artworks were acquired in May 2012 by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. All works of art are... Read more