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b. 1953, USA

Nan Goldin Biography

Nan Goldin is an American photographer famous for her intimate photographs of herself and a circle of friends that include members of the LGBTQ community. Her works convey empathy for this group in a time when such individuals were widely ostracised or treated with hostility by mainstream media. After leaving home at 13, Goldin attended Satya Community School in Massachusetts where a teacher introduced her to photography. At the time of this introduction she was recovering from the suicide of an older sibling and experimenting with drugs.

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Excited after discovering the counter-cultural worlds of film-makers Andy Warhol, Federico Fellini and Jack Smith, Goldin went to Boston and began documenting the lives of the gay and trans communities in intimate domestic surroundings. Her first solo show was in 1973. In 1974 she studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Later, she began The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, where hundreds of slides were given a musical soundtrack and projected in nightclubs. The slides were later turned into a book (1986). From the 1980s on she did similar projects while living in Berlin, Bangkok, Tokyo, Paris and New York. She created suites of photographs that included her own coterie of lovers and friends that by then had become a large extended family. By the 1990s, however, many of her subjects had died from AIDS or drug overdoses. Goldin's work is now considered decades ahead of its time, especially considering the current political shifts in the art world and wider global communities.

When she documents drag queens putting on their makeup, friends shooting up or herself embracing a lover, Goldin introduces a sense of participation to her snapshots—an inclusiveness into the work that theoretically involves the viewer empathetically, instead of treating the viewer as an outsider voyeuristically looking in. She arguably mixes a non-judgemental viewpoint with a feeling of alienation, sensitively revealing what is normally kept private or hidden.

Goldin has had numerous international solo and group exhibitions. Solo shows include: Weekend Plans, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2017); blood on my hands, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York (2016); Recent Photographs, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (1999); The Other Side 1972–1993, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York (1993); The Cookie Portfolio 1976–89, Photographic Resource Center, Boston (1990). Goldin has also had solo exhibitions at Whitney Museum of American Art (1996), Poste Restante, C/O Berlin (2009), Fantastic Tales: The Photography of Nan Goldin, Palmer Museum of Art, Pennsylvania (2005); The Devil's Playground, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2001); Le Feu Follet, Centre Pompidou (2001); and Nan Goldin, Portland Museum of Art (2017). Her books include Tokyo Love: Spring Fever 1994 (1995). She has also made a film for the BBC with Edmund Coulthard, I'll Be Your Mirror (1995), and in 2007 received the Hasselblad Award.

John Hurrell | Ocula | 2018

Nan Goldin Featured Artworks

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Thora Floating, Connecticut by Nan Goldin contemporary artwork
Nan GoldinThora Floating, Connecticut, 2020Archival pigment print
76.2 x 102 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Siobhan in the woods, Provincetown by Nan Goldin contemporary artwork
Nan GoldinSiobhan in the woods, Provincetown, 1991Cibachrome
40.6 x 60 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
1st days in quarantine, Brooklyn, NY by Nan Goldin contemporary artwork
Nan Goldin1st days in quarantine, Brooklyn, NY, 2020Archival pigment print
101.6 x 152.4 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Brushstrokes in blue sky, Malibu by Nan Goldin contemporary artwork
Nan GoldinBrushstrokes in blue sky, Malibu, 2006Archival pigment print mounted on 2mm dibond with chassis
149.9 x 225.1 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Orange Horizon, Rio by Nan Goldin contemporary artwork
Nan GoldinOrange Horizon, Rio, 2003Archival pigment print
149.9 x 225.1 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Lola modeling as Marilyn, Boston by Nan Goldin contemporary artwork
Nan GoldinLola modeling as Marilyn, Boston, 1972Silver gelatin print
20 x 16 inches
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Nan and Brian in bed, NYC by Nan Goldin contemporary artwork
Nan GoldinNan and Brian in bed, NYC, 1983Cibachrome
76 x 102 cm
Not for sale
Duddell's

Nan Goldin Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Nan Goldin, Room #10 at KEWENIG, Berlin
Closed
6 October–7 November 2020 Nan Goldin Room #10 KEWENIGBerlin
Contemporary art exhibition, Nan Goldin, The Other Side at Galerie Marian Goodman, Paris
Closed
13 June–12 September 2020 Nan Goldin The Other Side Galerie Marian GoodmanParis
Contemporary art exhibition, Nan Goldin, Sirens at Marian Goodman Gallery, London
Closed
14 November 2019–11 January 2020 Nan Goldin Sirens Marian Goodman GalleryLondon

Nan Goldin Represented By

KEWENIG contemporary art gallery in Berlin, Germany KEWENIG Berlin, Palma
Marian Goodman Gallery contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Marian Goodman Gallery New York, Paris, London

Nan Goldin In Ocula Magazine

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Black Lives Matter Tops ArtReview Power 100 Ocula News Black Lives Matter Tops ArtReview Power 100 London, 3 December 2020

The list remains overwhelmingly dominated by people, institutions and movements in the Western world.

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Alain Servais: 'I'm very careful about not offending anyone' Ocula Conversation Alain Servais: 'I'm very careful about not offending anyone' By Nadine Khalil, Brussels

Leaning towards art that embodies what he describes as 'otherness', Alain Servais discusses the formation of his collection over the last two decades.

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In a Rebuke to Power Lists, Collecteurs Announces Substance 100 Ocula News In a Rebuke to Power Lists, Collecteurs Announces Substance 100 New York, 10 April 2020

Digital Museum Collecteurs has announced its list of the top 100 artists and activists making global change.

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Hell is a Place on Earth: P·P·O·W Looks to History in Context of Covid-19 Ocula Insight Hell is a Place on Earth: P·P·O·W Looks to History in Context of Covid-19 By Stephanie Bailey, London

Connections between Covid-19 and the HIV/AIDS crisis feed into P·P·O·W's online show.

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Nan Goldin In Related Press

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Nan Goldin review–Gut-wrenching, brilliant and beautiful. I cannot turn away Related Press Nan Goldin review–Gut-wrenching, brilliant and beautiful. I cannot turn away 26 November 2019, The Guardian

Nan Goldin photographs her life, her friendships and loves, her losses and addictions, good times and bad times. Little, if anything, is off-limits. The first large show of Goldin's work in the UK in almost two decades might be accused of raking over old ground. But Goldin often returns to her past, reincorporating older images in new work...

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NAN GOLDIN AND P.A.I.N. GROUP PROTEST SACKLER FAMILY AT THE GUGGENHEIM Related Press NAN GOLDIN AND P.A.I.N. GROUP PROTEST SACKLER FAMILY AT THE GUGGENHEIM 10 February 2019, ArtForum

Photographer Nan Goldin, her group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), and dozens of activists flooded the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York on Saturday night in protest of the institution's history with the Sackler family. The action, which began as a surprise demonstration in the museum's rotunda, culminated at the steps...

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How Ed van der Elsken Influenced Other Artists Related Press How Ed van der Elsken Influenced Other Artists 3 March 2017, The New York Times

Ed van der Elsken may not have become a household name, but his art has influenced a broad range of photographers, filmmakers and other contemporary artists. Here are three who expressed a direct connection to his art. Nan Goldin The contemporary American photographer Nan Goldin, known for her deeply personal snapshot-like portraits, and her...

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Refuge or trap? Female artists explore the concept of a room at Sadie Coles Related Press Refuge or trap? Female artists explore the concept of a room at Sadie Coles 3 February 2017, The Telegraph

This exceptional show gathers together a clutch of stand-alone installations and photographic works by some of the great female artists of the 20th and 21st century, all of which revolve in some way around the traditionally feminine domain of the domestic space.  As we see here, the idea of the room can assume a multitude of forms and meanings...

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