Maria Simonds-Gooding

Betty Parsons Gallery

This is another art of “right relationships,” as the press release points out. But right relationships are troublesome these days. They seal the work into its own narcissism, give it a false—coy—innocence, and permit us to file it away under the heading “well-made but has nothing to say” (and so finally worthless). What saves Maria Simonds-Gooding’s pictures from this fate worse than death—from being merely well-meant, like Tapies’—is their power of reference. Their pictorial delicacy corresponds to the bleakness of the landscape of the Blasket Islands off the coast of the Dingle peninsula of Ireland, the area where Simonds-Gooding lives. The spareness of this world is articulated in the spareness of the pictures, as its remoteness is in their emptiness. Simonds-Gooding’s incisions wear away the plaster that is her medium the way nature wears away the stone walls that “humanize” the

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