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LOT 045

1923 - 2008

Il est interdit d’apprendre (The Knot)
bronze sculpture, 1990
26 3/4 x 9 3/8 x 7 5/8 in 67.9 x 23.8 x 19.4 cm

Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000

Sold for: $28,125

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Collection of the Artist
Estate of the Artist

Régis Durand, Betty Goodwin: Collection de l'ange no. 4, Centre d'art contemporain de la Ferme du Buisson, 1994, reproduced page 38
Jessica Bradley and Matthew Teitelbaum, editors, The Art of Betty Goodwin, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1998, “A Conversation with Betty Goodwin,” page 67

Centre d'Art Contemporain de la Ferme du Buisson, Noisiel, France, Betty Goodwin: Peintures, dessins, sculptures, scénographies, March 5 - May 15, 1994

Betty Goodwin’s Il est interdit d’apprendre (The Knot), which translates as “It is forbidden to learn,” is a highly symbolic work from 1990. The bronze sculpture depicts, as its title indicates, a rope with frayed ends, tied in what looks like a stopper knot. Highly suggestive, this piece offers many possible readings and numerous hypotheses for interpretation. Although Goodwin’s works were especially concerned with the body and varying aspects of the human condition, found objects such as vests, gloves, tarps, notebooks and doors were frequently seen in her oeuvre, and were of special interest to her as they contained traces of life. Ropes and strings also played a supporting role in some of her most important series, such as Tarpaulin and Parcels. Goodwin worked in various media, and her sculptural works can be understood as a counterbalance to her pictorial practice. In an interview with curator Jessica Bradley, Goodwin said, “There are some issues that I want to deal with that I can’t say in drawings, and I have to use three-dimensional pieces.”

Il est interdit d’apprendre (The Knot) was part of the exhibition Betty Goodwin: Peintures, dessins, sculptures, scénographies, held at the Centre d’art contemporain de la Ferme du Buisson in Noisiel in 1994, which was her first one-person show in France.

Essay by Roger Bellemare (translated):

Almost abstract in its minimalism, The Knot evokes a hopeless situation. With its spiral inextricably folded in on itself, The Knot succinctly and powerfully renders a fundamental cause of human yearning: seeking and finding release and resolution. Herein lies the striking relevance and modernity of Betty Goodwin’s work. Instead of offering a temporary solution to the problem of time - of its loss and complications - Goodwin exposes the problem in its raw difficulty rather than resolving it. To this direct statement from the artist, a wide audience responds by celebrating her work, whose “black sun” continues to illuminate our time.

Près de l’abstraction par son minimalisme, The Knot évoque une situation sans recours. Torsade inextricablement repliée sur elle-même, le Nœud The Knot dans son raccourci offre une puissante évocation d'une situation parente à notre aspiration humaine: chercher et trouver des libérations, des dénouements. En cela frappent la pertinence et la modernité nue de l’œuvre de Betty Goodwin. Au lieu de proposer des solutions temporaires au problème du temps, de sa fuite, de ses complications - Goodwin expose le problème, la difficulté crue plutôt que sa résolution. C'est à cette invitation directe de l’artiste qu’un vaste public consent en célébrant son œuvre dont le « soleil noir » continue d'illuminer notre temps.

We thank Roger Bellemare for contributing the above essay.

Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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