Galerie Thomas Zander is pleased to present an exhibition of Joe Goode’s paintings of milk bottles and clouds, the two most important subjects that have shaped his renowned oeuvre. The exhibition features early works dating from the late 1960s and 1970s as well as the artist’s most recent paintings from 2012 to 2020.
Joe Goode (*1937, Oklahoma City) is one of the seminal figures in the development of the Californian art scene. First recognized for his milk bottle paintings and cloud imagery, Goode's work was included in the groundbreaking exhibit New Painting of Common Objects along with Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha and others. The show at the Pasadena Art Museum was curated by Walter Hopps in 1962 and is considered as the first museum exhibition of Pop Art in the United States. Goode’s milk bottle painting from the exhibition was featured on the cover of Artforum magazine.
Inspired by natural phenomena, Joe Goode explores the experience of seeing and perception. His work is associated with Pop Art and the Light and Space movement, which emerged on the American West Coast in the 1960s. In reaction to abstract expressionism, young artists of Goode’s generation turned to the visual experience of their environment: light and haze, transparent and reflecting surfaces, synthetic materials, mundane objects, commercial culture.
In his paintings, Goode often breaks the convention of the two-dimensional image plane. Viewers are made aware of the materiality of the artwork and are invited to question the authenticity of experience between representation and abstraction. The milk bottle has become an icon in his oeuvre and reappears in his most recent works from 2012–2020 that are on view in the show. While some examples have real milk bottles attached to the support, in others the artist paints splashes of milk spilling across the canvas like an action painting.
The large-scale canvasses from his celebrated body of work of cloud formations and skies also test the boundaries of painting and perception. In the early triptych Photo Clouds (1967–69) two small photographs of clouds seem to be drifting across the main image of a pastel sky. In the series of Torn Clouds (1970–76) sections of painted canvas are quite literally torn away to reveal a second image of a sky below. The Vandalized Clouds (1971–75) radically expose the support and foreground elements of destruction that are recurrent in Goode’s work. More recent cloud paintings register subtle changes in the colours of the sky impacted by pollution. Their colour schemes mix delicate blues with deeper shades and greys, underlining the impression of transparency and depth. While his subject matter has remained consistent, Goode has continued to investigate each theme, finding unique new ways for his work to evolve and reflect on the current state of our environment.
Joe Goode’s work has been presented in numerous exhibitions worldwide. His work is included in many major museum collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, the Menil Collection, The Smithsonian Institution, The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Goode lives and works in Los Angeles, California.