Jack Goldstein

Mitchell-Innes & Nash | Chelsea

Jack Goldstein’s move into painting in the late 1970s was driven, in part, by truly damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t decision making. “I didn’t want to be this guy who did performances and films when all these other guys were painters,” he admitted during a 2001 conversation with Meg Cranston, noting the pressure he felt to adapt not only to the “other guys” (i.e., David Salle, Troy Brauntuch, Robert Longo, et al.) but also to the wave of new commercial galleries and withering of alternative spaces. Yet, he goes on to say in the same breath, “It was a difficult thing to go back to painting. If you look at the end of the seventies, there was Frank Stella. What . . . was there possible to do?”

Ironically, then, Goldstein’s ambivalence about painting some three decades ago had little to do with carrying a torch for the “dematerialized” object; nor was he particularly bound, it seemed, to

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