Jack Goldstein

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Jack Goldstein
Born (1945-09-27)September 27, 1945
Died March 14, 2003(2003-03-14) (aged 57)
Education Chouinard Art Institute, California Institute of the Arts
Known for Performance art, Conceptual art, Painting
Movement minimalist sculpture

Jack Goldstein (September 27, 1945 – March 14, 2003) was a Canadian born, California-based performance and conceptual artist turned painter in the 1980s art boom.

Early life and education[edit]

Goldstein was born in Montreal, Canada, moved as a boy to Los Angeles, California and attended high school there in the 1960s. He received his training at Chouinard Art Institute and was a member of the inaugural class of California Institute of the Arts, where he worked in post-studio art under John Baldessari, receiving an MFA in 1972.


A performance artist with roots in minimalist sculpture, a conceptual artist who made experimental films and their audio equivalent on vinyl records, Goldstein divided his time between Los Angeles and New York City during the 1970s, eventually becoming one of the linchpins of the Pictures Group, which gained its first recognition at Artist's Space in New York City in the fall of 1977.

These artists, including Goldstein, Robert Longo, Troy Brauntuch and, initially, Phillip Smith, came to the forefront of the 1980s art boom and flourished to varying degrees as the decade wore on. Goldstein began seriously to make paintings at this time. Eventually he became known for what he referred to as "salon paintings" – those designed both to be sold to the very rich and to secure for the artist a place in art history. Although he was accused by some of "selling out" to a bull market in painting, this tactic appropriated the art star mantle that Goldstein's work always had assumed.

His paintings were based on photographic images of natural phenomena, science, and technology – the result of Goldstein's intent to record "the spectacular instant," as previously depicted in photography.[1]

As the 1980s continued and finally fizzled out there was less and less call for "salon paintings" and Goldstein's work sold less well than some others'. Reluctant to teach rather than practice full-time, Goldstein left New York in the early 1990s and returned to California where he lived out the decade in relative isolation.

His early work was revived at the turn of the century and he resurfaced briefly to some renewed acclaim, but it was too little too late. He was featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial as a major film influence alongside Stan Brakhage, less than a year after he committed suicide by hanging himself[2][3] in San Bernardino, California on March 14, 2003.

Goldstein may be remembered for a certain conceptual/representational approach to picturemaking that helped shape a generation of artists and beyond, even though they might not even be aware of him.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Art of the 80's: Goldstein". Collections of the Castellani Art Museum: Art of the 80's. Castellani Art Museum, Niagara University. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  2. ^ Laurels Too Late, Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, Los Angeles Times, January 18, 2004
  3. ^ HiLobrow (includes photo)

External links[edit]

Krygier, Irit audio interview with Philipp Kaiser regarding the exhibition Jack Goldstein x 10,000 http://www.conversationsonthearts.com/Philipp_Kaiser_Interview.mp3