Godwin shows in Richmond

Published 8:42 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Suffolk native Judith Godwin currently has exhibitions at two leading Virginia art institutions.

The show at the VCUarts Anderson Gallery, is open until Dec. 9. A separate show at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts ends Jan. 26. Both are free and have a book of Godwin’s early work available for purchase for $25.

This 1954 oil on canvas work by Judith Godwin, a Suffolk native, is on display at the VCUarts Anderson Gallery through Dec. 9. Another show, which ends Jan. 26, is being held at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

After being born in Suffolk and attending Mary Baldwin College, Godwin held her first one-woman show at Mountcastle’s in Suffolk. She went on to graduate from the Richmond Professional Institute, College of William and Mary, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. The former branch of William and Mary now is known as Virginia Commonwealth University.

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She has since also attended the Art Students League in New York, N.Y., and the Hans Hofmann Schools in Massachusetts and New York. She learned other forms of art from around the world as an apprentice to a Polish plasterer and carpenter and an Italian mason.

She also is the youngest woman ever to show at Betty Parsons Gallery in New York, according to a press release.

In 1974, she exhibited again in her hometown for America’s bicentennial celebration.

This autumn’s VCU show features 25 paintings produced in the 1950s and ‘60s when Godwin was beginning to explore abstract images, according to the release. One of them was done before Godwin left Virginia to live in New York.

“The exhibition demonstrates how, later in the decade, Godwin’s brushwork became considerably looser as she experimented with pours and stains in large-scale canvases, balancing painterly spontaneity with formal structure,” according to the press release.

The exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts features 15 works from across the span of her career, “demonstrating her remarkably persistent commitment to establishing and expanding her own abstract language,” according to the press release.

VCU’s Anderson Gallery is located at 907 ½ W. Franklin St. in Richmond. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is located at 200 N. Blvd. in Richmond.

For more information, visit www.arts.vcu.edu/andersongallery or www.vmfa.museum.