sfai news

April 26, 2013

Guggenheim Fellowship Awarded to Alumna Kathy Goodell

In its eighty-ninth annual competition for the United States and Canada, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded a Fellowship to Kathy Goodell, an alumna of the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). The Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships are amongst the most prestigious fellowships in the arts world, and were awarded this year to a diverse group of 175 scholars, artists, and scientists. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants.

Kathy Goodell was born in San Francisco, California and received both her BFA and MFA degrees in sculpture at SFAI. Her most recent work deals with perception and the process of ‘seeing,’ both through the naked eye and with optical devices such as lenses, hence investigating the links between sight and interior vision. The work veers from the realm of a subaqueous, unconscious state of mind to an acute examination of the tangible world. “Because of my persistent interest in fluidity and flux and the transitory, I am breaking down the barriers between the mediums I employ; sculpture, painting, drawing, and photography have become porous and speak to and through each other,” stated Goodell.

“I feel honored to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship and to be chosen among a history of so many artists who I believe are doing or have done important work,” continued Goodell. “The San Francisco Art Institute, being my alma mater, instilled in me a sense of experiment and the directive to believe in my individual vision, no matter what the fashion of the day may be. I still hear these individual voices and am grateful for them.”

Goodell’s fellowship will continue the work that she began in 2012 with her installation Mesmer Eyes, a 24-foot-long piece comprising 10,800 small, elliptical paintings and 21 optical lenses that were suspended approximately 6 feet away from the ceiling. Said Goodell, “I am forever interested in the contradictions between the metaphysical and the tangible. I plan on enlarging the scale of the optical lenses that are prevelant in my work and use them in both intimate and public ways. The Guggenheim will also allow me to work in my studio and prepare for an exhibition in the fall.”

Before moving to New York in 1984, Goodell taught at several institutions in California, including the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco State University, California College of Arts and Crafts, and the University of California, Davis. After moving to New York, she taught at Moore College of Art & Design and the School of Visual Arts before joining the faculty at the State University of New York at New Paltz, where she currently is a Professor in Painting and Drawing.

Goodell’s work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Drawing Center, New York, the New York Public Library, the Queens Art Center, the Museum of the City of Mexico, the UC Berkeley Art Museum, and the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art. She has also been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including two National Endowments for the Arts Fellowships, two New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, a Pollock-Krasner Grant, a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a grant from the California Commission for the Arts.

Her work also has been recognized in numerous books, most notably Darlene Tong and Carl E. Loeffler, Performance Anthology; Thomas Albright, Art In the San Francisco Bay Area; Christopher Brown and Judith Dunham, New Bay Area Painting and Sculpture; and Richard Yellen, International Glass Art. She was included in the movie Crumb (directed by Terry Zwigoff), a biographical documentary about the artist Robert Crumb, in which she plays herself. Her work also has been reviewed in The New York Times, Juxtapoz, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Tribune, The Sacramento Bee, Avalanche Magazine, The Sciences magazine, and Arts Magazine. Catalogue essays include writings by Jonathan Goodman, Eleanor Heartney, Peter Plagens, Terry Myers, and Walter Hopps. Images and more information on Goodell can be found at www.kathygoodell.com.

The San Francisco Art Institute is honored that its alumni and faculty have been recognized with seven Guggenheim Fellowships over the past three years. In addition to Goodell, other recipients include visiting faculty Chris Sollars (2013), the late alumnus and faculty member Carlos Villa (2012), alumnus Bill Jacobson, MFA (2012), alumnus Michael Arcega, BFA (2012), alumna Michelle Handelman, MFA (2011), and alumnus Bernie Lubell, MFA (2011). Current faculty who have been awarded Guggenheim Fellowships include John Roloff, Reagan Louie, Linda Connor, Henry Wessel, Jr., Paul Kos, Darcy Padilla, Jay Rosenblatt, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Sergio De La Torre, and Pamela Z.

Mesmer Eyes (Left: Installation view; right: detail)