Contemporary sculptor making West Coast debut at Elverhøj Museum

Staff Report

Elverhøj Museum of History and Art is presenting the West Coast debut of artist Neil Goodman with “Looking West,” an exhibition of his contemporary sculpture through Aug. 19, including a free 3-D workshop on Saturday, July 15.

The public is invited to join the celebration, enjoy refreshments and meet the artist at the museum in Solvang. Pre-registration is required by calling 686-1211.

For this exhibit, Goodman has constructed sculptures of bronze and fiberglass. The two central pieces focus on one of his major bodies of work, the vertical column. At 11 feet tall, these pieces are also the largest and most ambitious sculptures of this series to date.

“My sculptures have been chapters of my life, measuring success and documenting growth,” Goodman said. “They are three-dimensional journals.”

Besides talent, it takes a lot of muscle to produce the large sculptures. The process is strenuous and labor intensive.

“The work initially seems minimal and subtle, yet the sculptures reveal themselves slowly,” said Elverhøj Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates. “Each resting point is counterbalanced by its mirrored and repositioned top, creating movement as well as stability.”

The tools of Goodman’s trade include a sturdy welder, a grinder, clamps, a hoist, and a good set of hand tools.

Born in Hammond, Ind., in 1953, Goodman was educated at Indiana University and Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, where he began casting his works in bronze and earned a master of fine arts degree. Subsequently he co-founded the art department at Indiana University Northwest and taught for more than 30 years until his retirement this month.

Goodman has exhibited his work nationally and internationally and has had more than 30 one-person exhibitions throughout the country. He has permanent large-scale pieces at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, and at public and private locations throughout the Midwest.

His sculpture has been commissioned and collected by museums, corporations, convention centers, parks, synagogues, universities, and private collectors.

His work has been reviewed in Art Forum, Art in America, Art News, and Sculpture Magazine.

A conversation with the artist is also scheduled at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, with a social hour immediately following. “Beginning to End” will be the topic of an artist demonstration and closing reception on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 3 to 5 pm.

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