Ralph Goings

Born 1928
Hometown Corning, California
Lives and Works Charlottesville, New York and Santa Cruz, California
MFA, Sacramento State College, Sacramento, California, 1965
BFA, California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, California, 1953

Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois

Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, Michigan

Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia

Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida

Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida

Sheldon Art Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska

Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York, New York

Plus One Gallery, London, England

Jonathan Novak Contemporary, Los Angeles, California

Ralph Goings was an original member of the Hyperrealist group of painters in California during the late 1960s, known for his photorealist paintings of hamburger stands, fast-food eateries, and vintage cars. When he moved to New York he began depicting diner interiors and countertop still lives in the morning light, captured in photographs then projected onto canvases to paint. These works lack the artist’s hand, focusing on “the way things look in their environment and especially about how things look painted.” He began producing watercolors in the 1970s but held fast to his emphasis on natural light as a subject within each composition. As his work matured, he relocated to the studio and constructed tableaus to photograph from items commandeered from diners past. Cropped more tightly with particular light effects chosen by the artist, the viewer observes imperfections and texture more acutely. Goings’s favorite subjects remain in this mature work: donuts, salt and pepper shakers, ketchup bottles, and silver utensils. Often referred to as “The American Vermeer,” Goings’ work injects beauty and awe into the seemingly mundane American experience of the working class.

Goings has exhibited at institutions including Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, New York, Musee d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg, France, Tucson Museum of Art, Arizona, Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark, Samsung Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, Museum of Fine Arts, Hanoi, Vietnam, Singapore Museum of Art, Singapore, Jakarta Arts Center, Indonesia, Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, Odakyu Museum, Tokyo, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Hermitage, Leningrad, Queens Museum, New York, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, among many others.

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