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February 26, 2015

Dick Goody at N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Arts

Dick Goody at N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Arts

by Ron Scott

Still Life with Cheese and Ravioli

Still Life with Cheese & Ravioli  36 X 36 Oil on Canvas - Courtesy of the artist and N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Arts

In the heart of Midtown Detroit, the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, just two blocks from the Detroit Institute of the Arts, is where the owner and curator George N’Namdi opened an exhibition of paintings, The Making of Dauphine, by Dick Goody; both men are stalwart promoters of the arts in Metro Detroit.

Nellie Bandaged

Nellie Bandage – 2014  24 X 24  Oil on Canvas - Courtesy of the artist and N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Arts

When I first caught a glimpse of the Nellie Bandaged painting, I thought maybe it was an off-color behind the scenes character from The Simpsons. But on closer observation, the surreal character wearing sunglasses and lipstick whose head is wrapped in what looks like leather or cloth mask bandage; the titillating painted image slowly takes on a futuristic iconic stature.

The twenty paintings in the exhibition are the product of 2014 sabbatical leave Goody received from Oakland University.

Goody says “The Making of the Dauphine is a suite of paintings loosely based on The Dauphine, a novella I wrote in 2013 concerning the discovery of an artificial intelligence singularly focused on ridding the world of infamy and excess, but the exhibition is only marginally concerned with this.  In short, I would say that it personifies the idea that it’s about how you paint rather than what you’re painting.”

Tweed 6

Tweed Leliedwarsstraat No. 6 – 24 X 36   Oil on Canvas  Courtesy of the artist and N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Arts

Many of the paintings are loosely representational and still life where Goody focuses on composition, color, black line, at times reminding this viewer of Matisse when he flattens out the subject.  A challenge when observing these paintings is that many contain writing, or words, something I have always had a hard time with because it tends to feel illustrative. There is a school around this “text-based” art, recently exhibited in Los Angeles in 2013 by the Jack Rutberg Gallery, showing the work of Bill Barminski and Mark Greenfield. But the text here is more about shape, color and less about content or meaning.

As an Associate Professor of Art at Oakland University and curator of Oakland University Art Gallery, Dick Goody is many things; curator, writer, painter, and intellectual connoisseur of the arts.  In this exhibition, one takes a peek into Goody’s interior world, surreal on the surface, a visionary utopia in its content, and vogue in its use of color and black line.

 

The Making of the Dauphine  February 13 – March 14, 2015

The N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Arts

 

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Ron Scott Teachworth

Ron Scott

 

 

 

I was born in Detroit, attended graduate school at Wayne State University in painting, and I have always considered myself part of the Detroit Art Community.  I paint and write full time.

In the writing of art criticism, there are primarily three types of writers: Journalists, Art Historians, and Artists. I fall into category three, as I have a visual art practice and have exhibited for over thirty-five years, primarily in southeastern Michigan.  Because I had worked in public television as a writer / producer, I developed some writing skill, and when I retired from that profession, I turned my writing to art criticism and fiction.

I usually select an exhibit where I feel I might have something to say that is constructive.  This would usually be a painting, photographic, sculpture, or mixed media exhibition. I prefer working on solo exhibitions that provide me with some room to go deeper into the work. I try to understand the perspective of the artist through an artist statement or an interview.  I visit the exhibition space and take notes that capture my reaction to the work in the present.  I do a rough draft as soon as possible and then begin the research process. I add the research elements and imagery to the polish. The final stage is submitting to an editor for his/her review.