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Roberts, Goodridge
Untitled (Seated Nude – Artist’s Wife) Untitled (Seated Nude – Artist’s Wife)
1955 1955

When this portrait of the artist’s second wife Joan was exhibited in “Goodridge Roberts: Figure Paintings and Drawings” at The Gallery/Stratford in 1978-1979, curator Christopher Varley astutely wrote, “Roberts’s nudes … retain their corporeality and integrity–they are never entirely suffused by patterning, nor do they acquire meaning beyond that of the matter of fact nature of their existences.” One is struck by the relaxed physicality and intense gaze of Roberts’s familiar sitter. Staged by rumpled textiles and subdued tones of ochre, raw umber, and green, she is ease with her body.

Roberts studied at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal 1923-1925 and Arts Students League in New York 1926-1928. Among his instructors at the latter was John Sloan of the Ashcan School artistic movement, inown for depicting modern urban life. From 1933 to 1936, Roberts was first artist in residence at Queen’s University, a position sponsored by Carnegie Corporation. Afterward he moved to Montreal, becoming a member of the short-lived Eastern Group and then the Contemporary Arts Society. Roberts taught at the Art Association of Montreal in the 1940s and early 1950s, interrupted by service as an official war artist. In 1952, the year he was chosen (along with David Milne, Emily Carr, and Alfred Pellan) to represent Canada for the first time at the Venice Biennale, he met Joan Carruthers Carter, eighteen years his junior. By this point, he was at the height of his career and excelled equally at painting portraits, nudes, landscapes and still lifes. In this portrayal of his new bride, all four genres are combined, a visual compendium of artistic endeavour and possibility.

 
Roberts, Goodridge
Bathsheba, Barbados 1904-Montreal QC 1974 Bathsheba, Barbados 1904-Montreal QC 1974
Untitled (Seated Nude – Artist’s Wife) Untitled (Seated Nude – Artist’s Wife)
1955 1955
Oil on canvas Oil on canvas
81.3 x 63.5 cm
Gift of Peter, Graham, Patricia and Alexander Boag, 2018 Gift of Peter, Graham, Patricia and Alexander Boag, 2018
61-007

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