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Robert Godfrey

Godfrey tells stories. He tells a lot of stories. Some are clear and straightforward. But others are couched in metaphor, myth and shadow. All have an element of playfulness, springing most likely from a personal or a hopeful encounter. It may be necessary to latch onto the peculiar visual language and the contemporary or historical syntax that envelops a Godfrey narrative, but it is also possible to read into his stories and to exaggerate and embellish them. Understanding the role and, indeed, duty of the Muse and of Desire are keys to being swayed by these stories. The title which Godfrey gives a work is also a clue to open a meaning of an occurring incident or episode. In the end, though, all of his stories will appear to have an aura of familiarity, albeit arcane. This is because these are portable stories and span time and cultures in very persuasive ways. They blur the line between an insistent selfishness and the parceling out of something more shareable.

Elwood Beach
from Godfrey: Seven Myths, Scion Press, 2009

1941 Born in the rural farming community of Mount Laurel, New Jersey 
1966 Receives a Fulbright-Hays Grant to paint in Denmark 
1973 First solo gallery exhibition in USA, Brata Gallery on East 10th Street, NYC 
1983 First solo museum exhibition in USA, Butler Institute of American Art, Ohio 
1998 First solo exhibitions in Europe (Hamburg and Copenhagen) 
2003 First solo exhibition in Australia (Melbourne) 
2003 Receives the Butler Medal for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts 
2010 Moves studio to upstate New York 
2011 Establishes full time residency in Hudson, New York