Betty Goodwin (1923 – 2008)

Betty Goodwin
© Colin McConnell/Toronto Star

Betty Goodwin was a printmaker, sculptor, painter, installation artist and one of Canada's pre-eminent contemporary artists. Born in Montréal to Romanian immigrants, Goodwin loved to draw and paint as a child. After high school, she studied design at Valentine's Commercial School of Art in Montréal, then launched herself as a printmaker and painter in the late 1940s. In a class with painter and printmaker Yves Gaucher in the 1960s, Goodwin began incorporating found objects and clothing into her prints, garnering widespread international attention and praise. She was chosen to represent Canada at many international artistic events, including the Tokyo International Print Biennial in 1974, the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts in 1975, the São Paulo Biennial in 1989, and the prestigious Venice Biennale in 1995. Goodwin's work most often encompasses the human form and explores some of the darkest realms of the human condition. The recipient of numerous awards and acknowledgements, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003.

“Drawing is the simplest way of establishing a picture vocabulary, because it is an instant, personal declaration of what is important and what is not.”

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