Caroline Goe

works from the collection of Lynne Tillman

March 16–May 4, 2019 West Gallery
Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019 (Installation view of nine small paintings: four on the right wall, three on the back, and two on the right. Behind each painting on the wall is a light gray rectangle sort of framing the paintings.)

Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019

Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019 (Two paintings installed on a white wall. Behind each wall is a light gray rectangle, framing each work. Both works are Untitled and utilize expressive brushstrokes. The work on the left depicts a woman in profile with a red and yellow kimono on, holding a fan. The background is painted a light teal with a loose grid painted on it. The work on the right depicts two people sitting across each other on a round table. There is a painting of a bird to the right and a painting of a woman on her knees praying on top of the two people.)

Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019

Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019 (Three paintings installed on a wall. All three works are Untitled and utilize expressive brushstrokes. The work all the way to the left depicts a central figure in profile reading from a book with the Star of David on the cover. there is a person to his right and two people to his left. Two of the people are kneeling and all three are praying. The work in the middle depicts a person with a cross on his headpiece and a cross on a belt around his waist holding a shrub or plant. He is standing on the ground with little plants around him, and there are two trees: one on either side of him. The work on the left depicts a bunch of pink flowers with small light green leaves in a dark purple vase against a dark umber background. The initials "CG" are written in a bright green.)

Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019

Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019 (Five paintings installed around a corner: two on the left wall and three on the right. All the walls are white but have gray painted rectangles behind the paintings, framing them.) 

Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019

Caroline Goe Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s) Mixed media on canvas board 6 x 8 in (Work depicting two figures. The figure on the right has her arm wrapped around the figure on the right, whose face is covered in orange. They are surrounded by a yellow glow and there is a cross to the right. Behind the yellow glow is a murky gray and blue background, with accents of white and blue.)

Caroline Goe

Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s)

Mixed media on canvas board

6 × 8 in

Caroline Goe Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s) Mixed media on fabric laid on paper 7 x 12 in (A painting on an irregularly shaped fabric. Depicted is a nun in profile with wearing a wimple and habit rendered in white and a cross floating above her head. She is placed on a light brown ground against a black background with marks in yellow and white on either side of her.) 

Caroline Goe

Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s)

Mixed media on fabric laid on paper

7 × 12 in

Caroline Goe Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s) Mixed media on paper 8.5 x 10.75 in (A painting that depicts a bunch of pink flowers with small light green leaves in a dark purple vase against a dark umber background. The initials “CG” are written in a bright green.)

Caroline Goe

Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s)

Mixed media on paper

8.5 × 10.75 in

Caroline Goe Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s) Mixed media on canvas 10 x 12.5 in (A painting that depicts two people sitting across each other on a round table. There is a painting of a bird to the right and a painting of a woman on her knees praying on top of the two people.)

Caroline Goe

Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s)

Mixed media on canvas

10 × 12.5 in

Caroline Goe Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s) Mixed media on paper 11 x 17 in (A painting that depicts a person with a cross on his headpiece and a cross on a belt around his waist holding a shrub or plant. He is standing on the ground with little plants around him, and there are two trees: one on either side of him.)

Caroline Goe

Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s)

Mixed media on paper

11 × 17 in

Press Release

White Columns is proud to announce a solo exhibition of works by Caroline Goe drawn from the personal collection of the New York-based writer Lynne Tillman.

Almost nothing is known about Caroline Goe’s life (or indeed whether she is still alive.) What is known is that Goe sold her paintings on the streets of New York’s East Village in the 1980’s, and that her work attracted the attention of a number artists and writers including Lynne Tillman, Chris Martin, and Robin Winters, among others. This exhibition – we believe the first ever dedicated to Goe’s work – comprises all of the paintings that Tillman acquired from the artist from the mid-1980’s to the early 1990’s. About her encounters with Goe and her work, Tillman writes:

“In the mid 1980’s, a woman was selling her paintings on the street, and I’m thinking it was Third Ave near 9th Street, around the corner from St Marks Bookstore. That’s my memory of it, but it might have been on Second Ave. Time pranks memory.

Carolyn Gee, I thought her name was. I’ve now learned it was Caroline Goe. She signed her name “CG.” CG was a small woman, with blondish hair. She might have been seated on a small chair, or on a blanket, but in memory I see her seated. CG was dignified and didn’t talk except to tell you how much a work was.

CG sold her paintings for a dollar or two. Some paintings were on paper, on silky, gauzy fabric, some on canvas, some were fabric glued onto paper. The canvases weren’t stretched, they were not the usual sizes or shapes, some were cut from other canvases, I thought.

CG’s paintings are figurative, and very colorful. Vivid colors, mostly: reds, purples, blues, yellow, in one a lovely light green. She used black as a background for white. She liked crosses. She was ecumenical, too, and painted Jewish stars, also. Often her paintings are of religious figures. Nuns are a favorite subject, and God or Jesus.  I thought her work was about communication of different types, spiritual and actual, and about spirit itself.

CG liked painting costumes, a nun’s habit, other ceremonial dresses. Her work is upbeat, happy, and I bought quite a number of them. I think I lost a couple, I’m not sure. I particularly love the painting of two women at a table, with two paintings on the wall. Now I’ve learned other artists collected her also.

Caroline Goe disappeared in the 1990’s, I believe. Suddenly she was no longer at her post. Curiously, I never spoke to her, and usually I do make conversation with people I have some truck with. Maybe we didn’t speak, because she didn’t encourage that. And I didn’t want to importune her. I wish, back then, I had learned about her, from her.” – Lynne Tillman, March 2019.

White Columns would like to thank Lynne Tillman for her enthusiasm for this project. Our hope is that it acts as a catalyst for subsequent research and, perhaps, future exhibitions of Goe’s art.

Lynne Tillman is a writer based in New York. Her latest novel Men and Apparitions was published in 2018 by Soft Skull Press. Most recently, a new edition of her 2006 novel American Genius, A Comedy was published by Soft Skull Press (February 2019.)

Event

A reading by Lynne Tillman and a talk between Lynne Tillman and Matthew Higgs.

April 19, 2019

White Columns
91 Horatio Street
New York, NY

Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019 (Installation view of nine small paintings: four on the right wall, three on the back, and two on the right. Behind each painting on the wall is a light gray rectangle sort of framing the paintings.)
Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019 (Two paintings installed on a white wall. Behind each wall is a light gray rectangle, framing each work. Both works are Untitled and utilize expressive brushstrokes. The work on the left depicts a woman in profile with a red and yellow kimono on, holding a fan. The background is painted a light teal with a loose grid painted on it. The work on the right depicts two people sitting across each other on a round table. There is a painting of a bird to the right and a painting of a woman on her knees praying on top of the two people.)
Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019 (Three paintings installed on a wall. All three works are Untitled and utilize expressive brushstrokes. The work all the way to the left depicts a central figure in profile reading from a book with the Star of David on the cover. there is a person to his right and two people to his left. Two of the people are kneeling and all three are praying. The work in the middle depicts a person with a cross on his headpiece and a cross on a belt around his waist holding a shrub or plant. He is standing on the ground with little plants around him, and there are two trees: one on either side of him. The work on the left depicts a bunch of pink flowers with small light green leaves in a dark purple vase against a dark umber background. The initials "CG" are written in a bright green.)
Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019 (Five paintings installed around a corner: two on the left wall and three on the right. All the walls are white but have gray painted rectangles behind the paintings, framing them.) 
Caroline Goe Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s) Mixed media on canvas board 6 x 8 in (Work depicting two figures. The figure on the right has her arm wrapped around the figure on the right, whose face is covered in orange. They are surrounded by a yellow glow and there is a cross to the right. Behind the yellow glow is a murky gray and blue background, with accents of white and blue.)
Caroline Goe Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s) Mixed media on fabric laid on paper 7 x 12 in (A painting on an irregularly shaped fabric. Depicted is a nun in profile with wearing a wimple and habit rendered in white and a cross floating above her head. She is placed on a light brown ground against a black background with marks in yellow and white on either side of her.) 
Caroline Goe Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s) Mixed media on paper 8.5 x 10.75 in (A painting that depicts a bunch of pink flowers with small light green leaves in a dark purple vase against a dark umber background. The initials “CG” are written in a bright green.)
Caroline Goe Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s) Mixed media on canvas 10 x 12.5 in (A painting that depicts two people sitting across each other on a round table. There is a painting of a bird to the right and a painting of a woman on her knees praying on top of the two people.)
Caroline Goe Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s) Mixed media on paper 11 x 17 in (A painting that depicts a person with a cross on his headpiece and a cross on a belt around his waist holding a shrub or plant. He is standing on the ground with little plants around him, and there are two trees: one on either side of him.)

Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019 (Installation view of nine small paintings: four on the right wall, three on the back, and two on the right. Behind each painting on the wall is a light gray rectangle sort of framing the paintings.)

Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019 (Two paintings installed on a white wall. Behind each wall is a light gray rectangle, framing each work. Both works are Untitled and utilize expressive brushstrokes. The work on the left depicts a woman in profile with a red and yellow kimono on, holding a fan. The background is painted a light teal with a loose grid painted on it. The work on the right depicts two people sitting across each other on a round table. There is a painting of a bird to the right and a painting of a woman on her knees praying on top of the two people.)

Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019 (Three paintings installed on a wall. All three works are Untitled and utilize expressive brushstrokes. The work all the way to the left depicts a central figure in profile reading from a book with the Star of David on the cover. there is a person to his right and two people to his left. Two of the people are kneeling and all three are praying. The work in the middle depicts a person with a cross on his headpiece and a cross on a belt around his waist holding a shrub or plant. He is standing on the ground with little plants around him, and there are two trees: one on either side of him. The work on the left depicts a bunch of pink flowers with small light green leaves in a dark purple vase against a dark umber background. The initials “CG” are written in a bright green.)

Caroline Goe, installation view, 2019 (Five paintings installed around a corner: two on the left wall and three on the right. All the walls are white but have gray painted rectangles behind the paintings, framing them.)

Caroline Goe Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s) Mixed media on canvas board 6 × 8 in (Work depicting two figures. The figure on the right has her arm wrapped around the figure on the right, whose face is covered in orange. They are surrounded by a yellow glow and there is a cross to the right. Behind the yellow glow is a murky gray and blue background, with accents of white and blue.)

Caroline Goe Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s) Mixed media on fabric laid on paper 7 × 12 in (A painting on an irregularly shaped fabric. Depicted is a nun in profile with wearing a wimple and habit rendered in white and a cross floating above her head. She is placed on a light brown ground against a black background with marks in yellow and white on either side of her.)

Caroline Goe Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s) Mixed media on paper 8.5 × 10.75 in (A painting that depicts a bunch of pink flowers with small light green leaves in a dark purple vase against a dark umber background. The initials “CG” are written in a bright green.)

Caroline Goe Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s) Mixed media on canvas 10 × 12.5 in (A painting that depicts two people sitting across each other on a round table. There is a painting of a bird to the right and a painting of a woman on her knees praying on top of the two people.)

Caroline Goe Untitled, n. d. (c. 1970s/1980s) Mixed media on paper 11 × 17 in (A painting that depicts a person with a cross on his headpiece and a cross on a belt around his waist holding a shrub or plant. He is standing on the ground with little plants around him, and there are two trees: one on either side of him.)