Goodridge Roberts, LL.D., R.C.A. (1904-1974)

We buy and sell paintings and sculptures by Goodridge Roberts.  For inquiries, please contact us.

"Must the artist, like the tight-rope walker in a dream-like state of composure, yet always aware of the gulf at his feet, feel both the elation and the uneasiness? One is made forcibly aware of the tension under which one has been working by the sense of relief with which one contemplates a work well done, or of extreme dejection before a badly realized work. There is no truce in this conflict until the brushes are laid down.

(Goodridge Roberts, 1953)

The Canadian painter, watercolourist and draughtsman Goodridge Roberts is best known for his landscapes of Quebec hills and fields. Using rapid brushstrokes and intense, warm colours, Roberts created a sense of vast space. In figure paintings and still lifes, he used the same loose style, always paying close attention to the relationship of forms.

Born into a family of poets, Goodridge Roberts spent two years studying at Montreal's École des Beaux-Arts, where he found inspiration in the work of James Wilson Morrice and Puvis de Chavannes. From 1926 to 1928, he studied at New York's Art Students League, under John Sloan, Max Weber and Boardman Robinson, who introduced him to the work of the Italian Primitives, especially Giotto, and the French Modernists. After finishing his studies, Roberts worked for a year as a draughtsman, before moving to Ottawa in 1930. He soon organized a class at the Ottawa Art Association, where he exhibited his work, and opened a summer school for painting in nearby Wakefield, in the Gatineau Valley. Over the years, Roberts would spend his summers painting in a number of different regions of Eastern Canada, including Georgian Bay, the Laurentians, Eastern Townships and Charlevoix.

In 1932, Roberts held his first solo exhibition at Montreal's Arts Club, where he came to the attention of John Lyman. Four years later, after a period as artist-in-residence at Queen's University, Kingston, he moved to Montreal, where he joined up with Ernest Neumann to open the Roberts-Neumann School of Art. He became a charter member of the Eastern Group of Painters and the Contemporary Arts Society in 1938 and 1939, respectively. He taught at the Art Association of Montreal for the better part of a decade, with a two-year gap during World War II, when he was stationed in England as an official war artist. In 1953, Roberts received a fellowship to paint in Europe, and spent several months in Paris, Italy and Agay, on the Côte d'Azur. In 1959, he was appointed the first artist-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick.

It was while living in the Gatineau in the early 1930s that Roberts created the series of rapidly executed watercolour sketches that helped to solidify his style. Lake Orford (1945) demonstrates his free brushwork, open composition and rich, nuanced colours. Nude Boy (1942) is an example of his figure work, with its characteristic frontal composition and strong contrasts of light and dark.

Among Roberts's many national and international exhibitions was the National Gallery of Canada's 1969 retrospective, a rare honour for a living artist. Roberts was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (1956) and the Order of Canada (1969). He held an honorary doctorate from the University of New Brunswick (1960).


 

Courtesy the National Gallery of Canada


 

Affiliations

Royal Canadian Academy
Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour
Canadian Group of Painters
Canadian Arts Society, Montreal
Eastern Group

 

Awards

Carnegie Grant for artist residency at Queen’s1933
Jesse Dow Prize for Water Colour Painting, 1939, 1947,1958
Musee du Quebec Purchase Award, 1948
RCAF Assoc. Purchase Award, 1952
Canadian Government Overseas Fellowship, 1952
Winnipeg Art Gallery Junior League Award, 1957
3rd, Biennial of Canadian Art, 1959
Canada Council Grant for Residency at University of New Brunswick, 1959
Honorary Doctor of Laws, Spring Ecaenia, 1960
Art Gallery of Hamilton Purchase Award, 19623
Canada Council Award, 1967

 

Collections

Vancouver Art Gallery
Edmonton Art Gallery
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Willistead Art Gallery, Windsor
Art Gallery of Hamilton
Hart House, University of Toronto
Art Gallery of Ontario
University of Guelph
Queen's University, Kingston
National Gallery of Canada
Firestone Art Collection
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
University of British Columbia
Concordia University, Montreal
McGill University, Montreal
Quebec Provincial Museum
Lord Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton
University of New Brunswick
Dalhousie University, Halifax
Bezalel Museum, Isreal
Many Private Collections

 

Education

Graduated from Fredericton High School in 1923
Entered l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Montreal in the autumn of 1923
Studied at the Art Student’s League, New York, 1926 - 28

 

Exhibitions

Fredericton, NB, 1928
Arts Club of Montreal, 1932,1939,1941
James Wilson & Company, Ottawa, 1933,1938
Hart House Gallery, Toronto, 1933,1939,1951
Queen’s University, 1934,1935
W. Scott and Sons, Montreal, 1938
Art Association of Montreal, 1940,1942,1950
L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Montreal, 1940,1942
McGill University, 1942,1945
Dominion Gallery, Montreal, 1943,45,47,48,49,50,52,53,55,62,
Vancouver Art Gallery, 1943,54,
1944, National Gallery, London, England, 1944
National Gallery of Canada, 1949,53,63,64,67,69,
Roberts Gallery, Toronto, 1951,57,59,61,64
Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, 1952,60
Galerie l’Atelier, Quebec, 1951,57
1952, Venice Beinnale (Canada’s 1st participation), 1952
New Brunswick Museum, St. John, 1954,63,
Galerie R. Creuze, Paris, 1954
Waddington Galleries, Montreal, 1961
Penthouse Gallery, Montreal, 1962
Tate Gallery, London, 1964
Canadian Pavilion, Expo 67, 1967
Hamilton Art Gallery, 1969
Retrospective, National Gallery of Canada (also Travelling), 1970
Galerie Bernard DesRoches, Montreal, 1979
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1980
Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, 1981

 

 

Galerie Eric Klinkhoff, Canadian Art Dealer & Gallery in Montreal

Goodridge Roberts, LL.D., R.C.A. (1904-1974)

"Flowers and Blue Drapery on Patterned Cloth", c. 1950

Oil on masonite 25.1/4 x 31.7/8 in.  (SOLD)

Galerie Eric Klinkhoff, Canadian Art Dealer & Gallery in Montreal

Goodridge Roberts, LL.D., R.C.A. (1904-1974)

"Dark Stream", 1958

Oil on masonite 32 x 48 in.  (SOLD)

Galerie Eric Klinkhoff, Canadian Art Dealer & Gallery in Montreal

Goodridge Roberts, LL.D., R.C.A. (1904-1974)

"Summer Studio", 1960

Oil on masonite 36 x 29 in.  (SOLD)

Galerie Eric Klinkhoff, Canadian Art Dealer & Gallery in Montreal

Goodridge Roberts, LL.D., R.C.A. (1904-1974)

"First Snow, N.B.", 1959

Oil on masonite 48 x 48 in.  (SOLD)

Galerie Eric Klinkhoff, Canadian Art Dealer & Gallery in Montreal

Goodridge Roberts, LL.D., R.C.A. (1904-1974)

"Still Life with Iris and Fruit", c. 1953

Oil on masonite 25 x 32 in.  (SOLD)

Galerie Eric Klinkhoff, Canadian Art Dealer & Gallery in Montreal

Goodridge Roberts, LL.D., R.C.A. (1904-1974)

"Georgian Bay Landscape"

Oil on board 25 x 32 in.  (SOLD)

Galerie Eric Klinkhoff, Canadian Art Dealer & Gallery in Montreal

Goodridge Roberts, LL.D., R.C.A. (1904-1974)

"Interior (Woman Reading)", 1956

Oil on masonite 16 x 20 in.  (SOLD)