Brenda Goodman’s Abstraction and Pain

Brenda Goodman, “Not Long Now” (2021), oil and mixed media on board, 12 x 16 inches

HUDSON, NY — Many of the paintings in the exhibition Brenda Goodman: Travelin’ Down That Painted Road, at Pamela Salisbury Gallery (July 31–August 29, 2021), were made since the COVID-19 pandemic required New York to go under lockdown. I thought about that enforced isolation because the exhibition’s title reminded me of the long dirt road that the artist Elliott Greene drove me down a few summers ago when we went to visit Goodman and her wife, Linda Dunne, and their dog and cat. 

The four of them live in a farmhouse next to her studio in a wooded rural setting where the nearest neighbor was not within shouting distance. It seemed to me that Goodman’s life — already lived in relative isolation — did not change radically because of the pandemic. A conversation with her confirmed that feeling. 

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