March 19, 1923|
|Died||December 1, 2008
Born in Montreal the only child of Romanian immigrants Betty loved to paint and draw as a child, and was much encouraged by her mother to pursue art. Goodwin's father, a factory owner in Montreal, died when she was 9. After graduating from high school, she studied design at Valentine's Commercial School of Art in Montreal, then launched her career as a painter and printmaker in the late 1940s. In the 1960s, she enrolled in a printmaking class with Yves Gaucher at Sir George Williams University in Montreal. Dissatisfied with her work, she destroyed most of it and in 1968 she limited herself to drawing. She was married to Martin Goodwin, a civil engineer (d. 2008). Their son Paul died at 30 of a drug overdose.
Betty Goodwin used a large variety of media, including collage, sculpture, printmaking, painting and drawing, assemblage and etchings. Her subject matter almost always revolves around the human form and deals with it in a highly emotional way. Many of her ideas came from clusters of photographs, objects or drawings on the walls in her studio. She also used the “germ” of ideas that are left after being erased from a work.During the 1950's and 60's Goodwin painted still-lifes. She also depicted scenes of Montreal's Jewish Community. She became interested in found objects, particularly how they represent traces of life. She created copper plate impressions of items of clothing to produce a series of etchings, entitled Vest, which gained international attention. Goodwin created a series of wall hangings entitled Tarpaulin from 1972-`974, which she reworked to shape into sculptures and collages. Over a period of six years beginning in 1982, Goodwin explored the human form in her drawing series Swimmers, this project used graphite, oil pastels and charcoal on translucent Mylar. The large-scale drawings depict solitary floating or sinking bodies, suspended in space. In 1986, to show the interaction of human figures she created her series Carbon using charcoal and wax to create drawings. 
Other Notable Artworks
- 1979: Rue Mentana
- 1985: Moving Towards Fire
- 1988-89: Steel Note
- 1990-95: La Memoire du corps series (Memory of the Body)
- The Prints of Betty Goodwin, National Gallery of Canada; Ottawa
- Recent Works, Jack Shainman Gallery; New York
- Galerie Rene Blouin; Montreal
- The Art of Betty Goodwin, Art Gallery of Ontario; Toronto
- Old Bodies, Oakville Galleries; Oakville, Ontario
- Betty Goodwin, Jack Shainman Gallery; New York, New York
- Cosmos, Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal; Montreal, Quebec
- Sable-Castelli Gallery; Toronto, Ontario
- Stephen Friedman Gallery; London
- Betty Goodwin: Signs of Life, The National Gallery of Canada; Ottawa
- La Ferme Du Buisson, Centre d’art contemporian; Noisiel, France
- Fawbush Gallery; New York, New York
- Les Femmeuses 92, Pratt et Whitney Canada; Montreal, Quebec
- Betty Goodwin, Espacc la Tranchefile; Montreal
- Galerie Rene Blouin; Montreal, Ontario
- Installations-Fictions, Galerie Graff; Montreal, Quebec
- Sable-Castelli Gallery; Toronto, Ontario
- Betty Goodwin 1969-76, Musee d’art contemporian; Montreal, Quebec
- Spanish International Biennial Exhibition of Fine Prints; Segovia, Spain
- Galerie B Montreal
- Burnaby Print Show, Burnaby Art Gallery; Vancouver, BC
- Penthouse Gallery, Crown Life Insurance; Montreal
- Pring Exhibition, Musee des Beaux-Arts de Montreal; Montreal, Quebec
Goodwin's work has been exhibited in Montreal since the early 60s, with some significant solo shows. Other exhibitions have taken place elsewhere in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. She was chosen to represent Canada in the Venice Biennial in 1995. In 1996, she was acknowledged with an exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, Betty Goodwin: Signs of Life. In 2003, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. She died in December 2008 in Montreal.
- Order of Canada in 2003
- Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2003
- Harold Town Prize in drawing in 1998
- Gershon Iskowitz Prize in 1995
- Guggenheim Fellowship in 1988
- Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas conferred by the Government of Quebec in 1986
- The Banff Centre National Award for Visual Arts in 1984
- Lynch-Staunton Award of Distinction in 1983
- Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
- Johnson, Brian D. "Body Language." Maclean's Vol. 111, no. 48 (Nov. 30, 1998): 88-89.
- "Betty Goodwin". www.gallery.ca. National Gallery of Canada. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
- "Betty Roodish Goodwin Biography". Artnet.com. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
- "Canadian Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery". Retrieved 11 March 2015.
- "Artefacts Canada". Canadian Heritage Information Network. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
- "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- Bogardi, Georges. "The Studio: In her reconfigurations of ideas and found materials, Betty Goodwin transforms life into art." Canadian Art Vol. 11, no. 3 (Fall 1994): 86-93.
- Bradley, Jessica and Matthew Teitelbaum, eds. The Art of Betty Goodwin. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1998. ISBN 1-55054-650-3
- Driedger, Sharon Doyle. "Bodies and Blood: Betty Goodwin depicts profound inner landscapes". Maclean's Vol. 108, no. 49 (Dec. 4, 1995): 74.
- Enright, Robert. "A Bloodstream of Images: an interview with Betty Goodwin." Border Crossings Vol. 14, no. 4 (Fall 1995): 42-53.
- Goodwin, Betty. Betty Goodwin: Passages. Montreal: Concordia Art Gallery, 1986. ISBN 2-920394-12-6
- Kirshner, Sheldon. "Betty Goodwin: Canada's Grande Dame of Art." The Canadian Jewish News Vol. 29, no. 2 (Jan. 14, 1999): 11.
- Morin, France and Sanford Kwinter. Steel Notes, Betty Goodwin. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1989. ISBN 0-88884-602-9
- Betty Goodwin archival papers (SC 124) held at the Art Gallery of Ontario research library and archives
- Mundane Secrets: reflecting on the artist Betty Goodwin 2009 ArtsEditor.com article
- Betty Goodwin, Artist of Mourning
- http://www.artnet.com/artist/7196/betty-goodwin.html - Artnet profile on Betty Goodwin
- Betty Roodish Goodwin at The Canadian Encyclopedia