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Judith Godwin | "Seated Figure" Acquired by the National Gallery of Art

October 31, 2019 - Berry Campbell

Judith Godwin, Seated Figure, 1955

Judith Godwin, Seated Figure, 1955
oil on canvas
210.82 x 119.38 cm (83 x 47 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Artist

A generous gift to the Gallery from American artist Judith Godwin (b. 1930), Seated Figure (1955) is the first work by her to enter the collection. Seated Figure is a striking arrangement of pale blue, royal blue, and black planes outlined in white and gray that evoke a figure's head, back, knee, and leg folded into a chair. Angular lines, extravagant drips, and vigorous brushwork energize the composition and transform the static motif of a seated figure into a dynamic image. The work shows both Godwin's mastery of the gestural style of abstract expressionists like Franz Kline and the influence of Martha Graham's expressive bodily gesture. Completed when Godwin was 25 years old, Seated Figure is a powerful example of second-generation abstract expressionism by one of the movement's female practitioners.


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