Atmospheric Composition – Painting by Joe Goode
Los-Angeles based artist Joe Goode is recognized for his contribution to shaping the form of Southern California pop art during the 1960s. However, over more than sixty years, the artist has continued to explore the abstract textures and forms present in the everyday objects that define American culture and has also represented atmospheric elements through varied visual strategies. Even if formally diverse, Goode’s work has always involved a subtle component of cultural critique covering political, environmental, or social issues.
Goode (b.1937, Oklahoma City) studied at the Chouinard Institute in Los Angeles. From a young age, the artist broke away from Abstract Expressionism, in vogue at the time, and was interested in representing the commercial culture of his time and of capturing the environment that surrounded him through an innovative pictorial language. Goode’s work was recognized early on in his career and is nowadays internationally known. As proof of this, in 1962, he was included alongside Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, and Wayne Thiebaud in the exhibition New Painting of Common Objects (The Pasadena Art Museum), which is considered to be the first museum exhibition of Pop Art in the US. Over time, his work has been featured in museum exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art, in New York, and can also be found in the most important museum collections across the globe.
While Goode’s oeuvre is diverse, one of his most famous series to this date, and which the artist has repeatedly revisited over the years, are his works inspired by glass milk bottles. Starting in 1961 he incorporated real milk bottles into his works by covering them in paint and placing them in front of his abstract-looking paintings and also reproduced them in his compositions. However, during the last few years, the artist has also painted silhouettes of milk bottles or included textured splashes of milk across his canvases, the latter of which bring to mind the tradition of action painting. Overall, the myriad of ways in which the artist has transformed the same theme over his career brings forth his endless creativity to uncover the material qualities and meanings of one of the visual referents of the Americana way of life during the early 20th century. Next to this, it reveals the consistent practice of an accomplished artist who, nowadays in his eighties, remains active.