Apr 7, 2020 · 10:41 PM

Date 2017
Image dimensions 140 x 100 cm
Technique/material Acrylic on canvas
Credit Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Purchase made possible by Club Fonds Konkret
Inv. no. SK17013
Clare Goodwin

Whispering Widows (Kirsty)

When first looking at the paintings of Clare Goodwin (born 1973 in Birmingham, UK), it is easy to assume she is following in the footsteps of Concrete Art. This is especially the case when considering that the British artist, who graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 1998, did in fact explore the Zurich Concretists after settling down in Zurich in 2003. However, what she primarily found were differences to her own approach. Unlike the Concretists, Goodwin does not base her paintings on mathematical principles; rather, she is interested in figurative abstraction and a nostalgic component. Her early series “Kitchen Paintings,” for example, is derived from the typical interiors of the English working-class kitchens Goodwin remembers from her childhood. Her pictures, which have linear structures that are often made more dynamic through irregularities, are always inspired by flea market trifles – foulards, ties, and bric-a-brac, with patterns from the 1970s and ’80s – which the artist collects in her studio. Goodwin cultivates her passion for collecting in an ongoing curatorial project called “The Museum of the Unwanted,” which as of 2017 has been staged three times and always incorporates other artists who share her fascination for seemingly worthless things.
Clare Goodwin develops her paintings in series, each of which revolve around a different approach to color and composition. Her works always have British first names as titles, which seems to lend them the character of a portrait and evokes a variety of associations. “Kirsty,” which belongs to the collection of the Museum Haus Konstruktiv, is part of a new series called “Whispering Widows,” which the artist presented for the first time at the Lullin + Ferrari Gallery in 2017. As is common for her, she did not simply hang the paintings in the gallery, but embedded them in a subtle environment, accompanied by a presentation of several of her sculptural experiments. These new paintings consist of stripes of color in a more or less compact arrangement that offer a view here and there of the picture ground, covered in freely applied ink. While most of the “Whispering Widows” are painted in pastel colors, the dark hues in “Kirsty” share more in common with Goodwin’s “Curtain Paintings” series, which came before and in which long and pointy, grayish-black color fields are superimposed on a layer of ink. In both cases, the wash of ink is an element that cannot be completely controlled. Together with the titles, it refers to something secret, a social curiosity – like peeking out behind the curtains, and the whispering of widows.

Deborah Keller




With financial support by:

Lotteriefonds Canton of Zurich

Baugarten Stiftung
Ernst Göhner Stiftung
Dr. Adolph Streuli-Stiftung
Stiftung Kunstsammlung Albert und Melanie Rüegg



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Apr 7, 2020
10:30:00 PM CEST