John Goodyear (born 1930), participated in Martha Jackson's shows that opened with the sixties, New Media-New Forms 1 and 2. Since then his work has continued to range widely, from 3-D and kinetic painting, heated, earth-curved, negative sculpture and at this point, isomorphic objects. Manifestations of these approaches appeared in shows such as The Responsive Eye, at the Museum of Modern Art; Contemporary American Sculpture, the Whitney; Plus by Minus, Albright-Knox Gallery; Interaction, M.I.T; Light/Motion/Space, The Walker Art Center; Cracks in the Modern, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canada. His work has been circulated throughout Germany by the U.S. State Department and through England and Scotland by the Institute of Contemporary Art, London. He is in the collections of the major New York City museums and overseas at the British Museum, the National Library of Paris and the Macedonian Center for Contemporary Art, Thessoloniki. One-person shows occurred at the Amel Gallery and Snyder Fine Art in New York and as far away as the Inhibodress Gallery, Sydney Australia.
Using a grille instead of a canvas, John Goodyear creates constructions of acrylic on metal, wood, and plastic, adding motors and internal lighting. Classified by some as sculptures, Goodyear considers his works paintings that provide abstract organizational changes. Movement of the grille, or the viewer, create new geometric designs and patterns suggesting three dimensional space. Goodyear's earlier paintings of the late 50s and early 60s were concerned with the reflection of light and color. In 1962, dissatisfied with a piece he was working on, he sawed it into thousands of painted slats and used them to form equal-sized grids, producing free-swinging suspended constructions. He later added motors and lighting. Further experimentation led to electrified optical works and pieces intended for touching. His more recent work is in demand for private and public buildings where they are incorporated into the architecture.
John Goodyear was born in Los Angeles, California in 1930. His earliest
memory is of the 1933 earthquake which devastated southern California. In
1941 after the death of his father, the family moved to Grosse Ile, Michigan,
the home of his maternal grandparents. He graduated as valedictorian of his
high school class and won a scholarship to study art at the University of
Michigan. At school he met and married Anne Dixon in 1953. A year later he
graduated with a Master of Design degree and was drafted into the U.S. Army.
Service in Japan was to have an important impact on his work. Influences
from Japanese architecture and Zen Buddhism led to the sparse ephemerality that characterized his work.