Miles Cleveland Goodwin returns to Froelick Gallery with his third solo exhibit with us. In his previous show, the artist examined his contentious but still fond relationship with areas of the rural South where he was raised- a precursor to his relocation from Portland, Oregon to a small Mississippi town which he made in the spring of 2013. Now, with Stennis Farm, he gives us works made while in this new/old setting. We see him moving away from the figure in favor of birds, animals and dusky rural landscapes. Many of his canvasses are heavy with dark, thickly applied paint- embedded in their surfaces is plant matter, collaged fabric elements, even segments of a snake's shed skin. Also included are a four new sculptural works in ceramic, plaster and wood, such as an articulated oil-black wooden serpent grasped by a glove and a ghostly stingray form fashioned from a large palm frond and ragged pieces of canvas.
There is a sense of decomposition, but also of being deeply rooted to a place- many of his birds appear to be nesting or hibernating; fences and barns are dilapidated, but they speak of generations of habitation. Aiming for a direct, winnowed-down style when in the past he would have striven for painterly virtuosity, he has come to value what he calls the joy of experimentation and truthful expression over technical perfection.