A Lucky Escape: The Wild World of William Goodman

June 12, 2021 - January 2, 2022

A Lucky Escape: The Wild World of William Goodman, a retrospective exhibition, will open in the Roswell Museum and Art Center’s Hunter Gallery in conjunction with RMAC Second Saturday, June 12. 

In 1971, William Goodman completed a 30-foot mural titled Oddy Knocky, which is now one of the most beloved paintings in the collection of the Roswell Museum and Art Center. To celebrate the fiftieth birthday of this extraordinary work, RMAC is pleased to present a retrospective exhibition showcasing more than five decades of wild and wonderful art by William Goodman.

Goodman is not just a painter. He’s also a sculptor, printmaker, inventor, and toymaker. However, whether he’s making a musical instrument, an intricate drawing, or an eighteen-foot tall abstract steel sculpture, his vision has remained steady over the course of his career. Some motifs turn up again and again: striped leaves and vines, a flat iron, Albrecht Dürer’s rhinoceros, Navy men, and a single five-pointed star, among others. These elements don’t generally appear in his non-representational sculptures, but they are as complex, fantastic, and organic as his drawings or prints. 

Born in Wimbledon, England in 1937, William Goodman had a structured but aimless childhood, eventually coming to serve in the Royal Navy. He immigrated to the United States in 1959. His chance discovery of the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) nudged him onto the path he was to follow for the rest of his career. A teaching opportunity in Albuquerque then brought Goodman to New Mexico, and the Roswell Artist-in-Residence program lured him further south in the state. He now lives and works in Tinnie, NM.

Discovery and Annexation_web_small

TOP: William Goodman, Xanadu, 1969, oil on linen, Courtesy of the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art.  | BOTTOM: Discovery and Annexation, ink on paper.