Exhibition | JOHN GOODYEAR | Bio

John Goodyear

John Goodyear was born in Los Angeles, CA. His earliest memory of life is of an earthquake, which devastated southern California. Almost a decade later, after the death of his father, the family moved to Grosse Ile, MI the home of his maternal grandparents. Having won a full tuition scholarship, he studied art at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. At school he met and married Anne Dixon. He graduated with a Master of Design degree and was immediately drafted into the U.S. Army. Two years of service in Japan, where his wife joined him, was to have an important impact on his work. Influences from Japanese architecture and Zen Buddhism led to the sparse ambiguity that characterizes most of his work thereafter.

The same influences and the experience of painting his house led to a switch to 3-D painting. After teaching at the University of Michigan in Grand Rapids, a grant from the Graham Foundation took him to the University of Massachusetts. During two years teaching there he prepared work for the grant, which became his first solo show in New York City in 1964. Two other shows followed in New York and led to his inclusion in over fifty group shows nationwide that dealt with light and movement.

At the time of his first NYC show he was invited to join the Visual Arts faculty at Douglass College, teaching there and at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University for thirty-three years. He replaced Roy Lichtenstein who had just resigned. During the seventies he received a fellowship to work under Gyorgy Kepes at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies while he was working on sculptures that featured inner heating. One of these was shown at the Whitney Annual. From MIT he also launched a series of shows, which encircled the world globe. Six works relating to this “Earth Curve” series were shown at the Museum of Modern Art in 1972.

Residual affects of the MIT experience may have led to his involvement during the eighties in public sculpture. During that decade he completed six major public sculptures including one for IBM at Triangle Park, NC and another for the State House in Trenton, NJ, five marble reliefs. The “Negative Figure” series emerged from the public sculpture and were shown in a number of group and solo shows. While planning one of the public works, he taught at Cergy-Pontoise outside Paris as a visiting artist.

He retired from Rutgers in 1997 and devoted time to working on a retrospective at the Michener Museum in Bucks County. (A 52 page catalog is available from them.) At the same time he and his wife served as co-curators of “Dada Country” at the Hunterdon Museum of Art near their home in New Jersey. Another curating job for “Iron Works,” features artists who did works relating to ironing, including Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. The show at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia was held in 2003.

Goodyear’s works are included in the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC as well as fifty other public collections worldwide including England, France, Greece, Italy and Switzerland.


University of Michigan; Master of Design, 1954. Bachelor of Design, 1952


Prof. of Art, Rutgers University, l964-97.
Instructor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, l962-64.
Instructor, University of Michigan, Grand Rapids, l956-62.
Draftee, US Army, Sendai, Japan, l954-56.


A 52 page catalog from the exhibition, John Goodyear, Thinking into Form, 1950-2000, Essay by Stephen Westfall. Available from the Michener Museum, www.michenerartmuseum.org, 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 18901.

Public Commissions (Selected)

2002    The Four Arts, aluminum, 126” x 30” x 30” Douglass Campus, Rutgers
1991    The Dawn of Law, Five marble reliefs, the State House, Trenton, New Jersey.
1984    Drawn from the Water, Stone reliefs, The Jewish Center, Princeton, New Jersey.
1983    Chiron, Plaza Tableau in cement slabs, University C0ollege of Medicine and
           Dentistry, Piscataway, New Jersey.
1981    Taking Flight, Light construction, International Business Machines, Triangle Park,
           Raleigh, North Carolina
1980    The Test, Kinetic painting, Educational Testing Services, Princeton, New Jersey.

Works in Public Collections (Selected)

Art-in-Embassies Collection, United States State Department, Washington, DC
Biblioteca di Galleria Nazionale d=Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy.
Biblioteque Nationale, Paris France
The British Museum, London, England.
Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge Massachusetts.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City.
Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Hoechst-Celanese, Somerville, New Jersey
Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Texas.
Instituto Cultural Peruano-Norte Americano, Lima, Peru.
Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.
Macedonian Center for Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece..
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.
James Michener Collection of 20th Century American Paintings, University of Texas, Austin
University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor.
Mills College Art Gallery, Oakland, California
Musee des beaux arts de l=Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, Spain.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas.
Museum of Modern Art, New York City.
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.
New Jersey State Council on the Arts Trenton.
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton.
Newark Museum, New Jersey.
Neuberger Museum, New York University, George Rickey Collection, Purchase.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania.
Princeton, University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California.
Stiftung fur Konstrucktive und Konkrete Kunst, Zurich, Switzerland.
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut.
The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City.
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, New Jerse

One-Artist Exhibitions (Selected)

2005    Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, New Jersey
           Rider University Art Museum, Lawrenceville, New Jersey
2004    Gallery of Fine Art, Newtown, Pennsylvania
2000    Michener Museum, Doylestown Pennsylvania
1995    Frank Martin Gallery, Muhlenburg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania.
1993    Jersey City Museum, New Jersey.
1992    Snyder Fine Art, New York City.
1989    Pyramid Gallery, New York City.
1987    Princeton Gallery of Fine Arts, New Jersey.
1981    Slusser Gallery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
           New Jersey State Museum.
1976    Center of Advanced Visual Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
           Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts.
1975    New Jersey State Museum, Trenton.
1972    Inhibodress Gallery, Sydney, Australia.
           Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania.
           Everson Museum, Syracuse University, New York.
           Andrew Dickson White Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
1967    Douglass College Art Gallery, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
1966-65-64    Amel Gallery, New York City.

Group Exhibitions (Short List)

2009    Connect/Reconnect, Mercer County Community College, Lawrenceville, NJ
2007    Conceptual Objects, Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, New York City
           Demoiselles Revisited, Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, New York City
           Art20, The Armory Park Avenue, New York City
2004    Trace, Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2002    500 Drawings on Paper, Gary Snyder Fine Art, New York City
1997    Geometric Abstraction 1937-1977, Snyder Fine Art, New York City.
1994    Cracks in the Modern, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canada.
1993    Blast Art, X Art Foundation, New York City
1992    Ten Steps, Horodner-Romley Gallery, New York City.
1992    Kunstler zwischen Idee und Realization, two year tour of Germany,
           the U. S. State Department.
1989    Geometric Abstraction and the Modern Spirit, Neuberger Museum,
           Purchase, New York.
1987    State Council Fellowships, Morris Museum of Art, Morristown , New Jersey.
1985    Aspects of Constructivism, The Atrium Gallery, Schenectady, New York.
1980    Spirit of Constructivism, Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York.
1979    New Jersey Currents, New Jersey State Council on the Arts,
           tour of State galleries.
1973    Interaction, Center of Advanced Visual Studies, Massachusetts
           Institute of Technology.
1972    Arte de Sistemas II, Centro de Arte y Comunicacion, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1971    Unlikely Photographs, Intitute of Contemporary Art, London and tour of Scotland.
           Elements of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
1968    Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City.
           Plus by Minus, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York.
           Artists under Forty, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City.
1967    Radius 5, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D. C. and two year tour
           of American museums.
1966    Light/Motion/Space, The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
           Contemporary American Sculpture, Whitney Museum of American Art,
           New York City.
           Annual Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City.
1965    The Responsive Eye, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City.
1960    New Forms-New Media I and II, Martha Jackson Gallery, New York City

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