Artist Neil Goodman is receiving the West Coast debut of his contemporary sculpture at the Elverhoj Museum of History & Art in an exhibition titled "Looking West." It opens Saturday with a free reception open to the public from 4 to 6 p.m.
For the past nine years, Goodman has divided time between his home and studio in Los Alamos and his studio and career as professor of fine arts in the Chicago area. This exhibition marks both a more permanent move west to Los Alamos as well as Goodman’s first solo exhibition in California.
For this exhibit, Goodman has constructed sculptures of bronze and fiberglass. The two central pieces focus on one of his major bodies of work — the vertical column. At 11 feet tall, these pieces are also the largest and most ambitious sculptures of this series to date.
“My sculptures have been chapters of my life, measuring success and documenting growth,” Goodman said. “They are three-dimensional journals.”
It takes a lot of muscle to produce the large sculptures. The process is strenuous and labor intensive.
“The work initially seems minimal and subtle, yet the sculptures reveal themselves slowly,” said Elverhoj Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates. “Each resting point is counterbalanced by its mirrored and repositioned top, creating movement as well as stability.”
The tools of Goodman’s trade include a sturdy welder, a grinder, clamps, a hoist and a set of hand tools. He sculpts with both the forms and the space of spaces that exist within and around them.
Goodman was educated at Indiana University and Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, where he began casting his works in bronze and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree. Subsequently he co-founded the art department at Indiana University Northwest and taught for more than 30 years until his retirement this month.
He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, and has had more than 30 one-person exhibitions throughout the country. He has permanent large-scale pieces at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University and at public and private locations throughout the Midwest.
Exhibit programming includes a 3-D workshop with the artist July 15. Preregistration is required by calling 805-686-1211. A conversation with the artist takes place Aug. 1 at 4 p.m. with a social hour immediately following. “Beginning to End” is the topic of an artist demonstration and closing reception Aug. 19 from 3 to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit www.elverhoj.org.