PRINT May 2003


Jack Goldstein

“I AM ALWAYS DISAPPEARING in my performances––it’s strange how personal my work is.”

Just as a serious assessment of the ’80s is beginning, one of the period’s most important and neglected figures has slipped from our grasp. The long-term significance of Jack Goldstein’s artistic achievement is only now becoming evident. In his life and work, Jack, who committed suicide in San Bernardino in March at the age of fifty-seven, articulated the profound anxiety dominating an era of spectacle, as the open-ended Conceptual practices that characterized the ’70s gave way to an appropriation-based return to narrative imagemaking. His films, 45 rpm records, paintings, text pieces, and performances formed a hinge between the end of one decade and the beginning of another, articulating elements of both while refusing to be contained by either.

Throughout his life, Jack’s uncompromising directness was both

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