Unlike a lot of transplants to L.A., Joe Goode was not amazed by the horizontal nature of this city where the sky is usually blue and broad. He had come from Oklahoma City, an even flatter expanse of terrain with far worse weather. He came in the ‘50s at the behest of his childhood friend Ed Ruscha and never looked back. Nonetheless, over the years, Goode has repeatedly explored the sky in paintings and drawings.
Joe Goode has long made pictures designed to be looked through, not at. His work is deadpan, and seemingly innocuous. The LA Times critic William Wilson, in 1971, called it ‘neutrality-style art’. Perhaps this mildness is why he never got quite as much attention as his childhood friend Ed Ruscha, who also does deadpan but who usually cuts his neutrality with non-sequiturs (often verbal) that are arresting and funny.