For background on the artist and works, see below.
About the Artist
‘Good’s art engages the viewer in the complexities of the act of painting, shifting attention away from the experience of representation, to an awareness of the physicality, tangibility and spatial truths and deceptions of the painted surfaces in front of them. These are great paintings…’ – Warren Feeney, reviewing Roy Good’s Retrospective Exhibition, The Press, January 2011
Roy Good’s abstract paintings are minimalist in form, but carry a sublime painterly subtlety when viewed at close hand. Within panels of each work, the colours are intensely worked, although the surface is often pared back so that from a distance it appears smooth. His use of colours creates planes which appear to advance and retreat against each other, although sometimes it is physical rather than illusion – he layers geometric forms so they literally project from the wall. A signature feature is the way he takes the form out of the conventional square or rectangle, using a shaped stretcher with notches, angles, layers, and lintel shapes. The shapes catch at our awareness, draw the viewer back, through the element of the unexpected. Born in Timaru in 1945, Good studied at Ilam School of Fine Arts in Christchurch from 1963-65, before moving to Auckland. He was one of a group of abstract artists including Milan Mrkusich, Ian Scott, Geoff Thornley and Gordon Walters who in the 1970s rejected local subjects and pursued an international modernism. His work became very minimalist, using pure geometricism. Retrospectives of his work were staged in Auckland in 2007 and Christchurch in 2011, attracting strong reviews.
Roy Good’s paintings in the last decade feature planes of colour that advance and recede in juxtaposition to the adjacent colours. They explore the possiblities of formal shapes and elements, often creating an illusion of relative dimension, and always working towards an absolute balance of elements, often equal elements.
His forms are precisely determined, but within them the colour is applied instinctively, so that planes of colour appear to float or hover under and over each other. Close viewing reveals myriad colour exquisitely applied to further enhance the illusion of space.
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