Hometown Legend

Judith Godwin

Judith Godwin (1930 – 2021)
Suffolk’s own, Judith Godwin, was a renowned artist whose Abstract Expressionism won her critical acclaim. Godwin attended Mary Baldwin College from 1948-1950, exhibited in the Irene Leache Memorial show in 1951 (winning the “most popular in the show” award), attended Richmond Professional Institute, College of William and Mary from 1951-1952, attended the Art Students League, New York in 1953… Godwin’s paintings are found in numerous public and private collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, The Yale University Gallery, The Art Institute of Chicago and The Hirshhorn Museum.

“I am apprehensive when writing about my work. Painting is a non-verbal medium to which I have devoted most of a lifetime. As a child I drew and painted and was exposed to a great deal of architecture and to gardening. Throughout my school and college years, art classes were of utmost importance. My advanced study with Hans Hofmann in New York and Provincetown enabled me to share with students from all over the world their admiration and enthusiasm for the vitality and expanding consciousness of modern art. My way of working is as natural and personal to me as my feeling for gardening. I usually stretch and prime my own canvas. This is, to me, part of my craft. I most often begin to paint by envisioning form and space in nature and then interpret my ideas and feelings into planes of color on the canvas. When I recognize an emerging form, I respond intuitively by evolving complimentary sub-forms in colors and applications which feel supportive and foster development. In studying color and its behavior, I have learned to trust my intuition. I have a strong belief in my work and pursue it constantly. How my paintings will appear to others is not a concern while I am working. Neither do I intellectualize about a work. I prefer to leave a canvas unfinished for an extended period rather than make instant revisions, which could remove those elusive centers of directness and spontaneity for which I have striven. I would hope that viewers of my work, being innately sensitive to color and movement, would respond to some of the excitement, subtlety, discovery and idealism I have experienced in the best of my work.”

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