This exclusive exhibition is literally seven decades in the making. A long overdue late-life museum retrospective, Lorrie Goulet: Seventy Years Carving celebrates the storied career of a sculptor, painter, and poet who first made her name in the 1950s and 1960s as a female artist who identified herself principally as a carver — a term that aptly describes her hands-on and intuitive approach to sculpting directly from stone and wood.
Now 92 years old, Goulet still works actively in her New York City home and studio, whose entire first floor is filled with a lifetime of her work. For seven decades, Goulet’s sculptures have focused principally on the female form, a longtime theme of art history but seen here refreshingly through a woman’s gaze. Many of the sculptures in the show will come straight from Goulet’s studio, selected specifically with the artist for this exhibition. Our permanent collection also features several works by Goulet, and this showcase of her renowned sculptures exemplifies the unlimited bounds of the Polk Museum’s new collecting focus on American figurative art, as it extends far beyond narrative painting.