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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

Exhibition view: LUMA Arles, 2021 opening exhibitions with the Parkett Archive. Courtesy Parkett. 

Nan Goldin Featured Artworks

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Empty beds, Boston by Nan Goldin contemporary artwork
Nan GoldinEmpty beds, Boston, 1979/2020Pigment print
76.2 x 114.3 cm
Fraenkel Gallery Contact Gallery
View by night from my window, Roosevelt Hospital, NYC by Nan Goldin contemporary artwork
Nan GoldinView by night from my window, Roosevelt Hospital, NYC, n.d./2019Pigment print
76.8 x 115.3 cm
Fraenkel Gallery Contact Gallery
Guido on the Train, Amalfi Coast, Italy by Nan Goldin contemporary artwork
Nan GoldinGuido on the Train, Amalfi Coast, Italy, 1996/2020Pigment print
30 x 45 inches
Fraenkel Gallery Contact Gallery
David in bed, Leipzig, Germany by Nan Goldin contemporary artwork
Nan GoldinDavid in bed, Leipzig, Germany, 1992Archival pigment print
76.2 x 114.3 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Lavender Landscape, Buncrana, Ireland by Nan Goldin contemporary artwork
Nan GoldinLavender Landscape, Buncrana, Ireland, 2002Archival pigment print
76.2 x 114.3 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
Skinheads having sex, London by Nan Goldin contemporary artwork
Nan GoldinSkinheads having sex, London, 1978Archival pigment print
76.2 x 76.2 cm
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 Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Nan Goldin Represented By

Fraenkel Gallery contemporary art gallery in San Francisco, USA Fraenkel Gallery San Francisco
Marian Goodman Gallery contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Marian Goodman Gallery London, New York, Paris

Nan Goldin In Ocula Magazine

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Nan Goldin In Related Press

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