OCMA to put on Jack Goldstein show

Featuring more than 75 works of art in various media, the exhibit will be the first comprehensive showing of Goldstein's work in the U.S.

June 21, 2012|By Jenny Stockdale, Special to the Daily Pilot
  • Philipp Kaiser, curator of an upcoming Jack Goldstein art exhibit at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach. Here, Kaiser stands in front of a piece by Jack Goldstein (Untitled, 1983, acrylic on canvas), from the collection of B.Z. and Michael Schwartz in New York.
Philipp Kaiser, curator of an upcoming Jack Goldstein… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

The Orange County Museum of Art on Sunday will open the first U.S. retrospective exhibition of works by the Canadian-born mixed-media artist Jack Goldstein (1945-2003), who was a central figure of the 1970s and 80s Postmodern Art movement and Pictures Generation.

OCMA's "Jack Goldstein X 10,000" exhibit will be a museum-wide show featuring more than 75 pieces, including a selection of 22 paintings, 20 films, 18 sound recordings and two large-scale installations, which the late Goldstein created during his influential yet enigmatic career.

The show concludes with never-before-shown writings by the artist, namely aphorisms and short texts that he produced between 1982 and 2002, supplemented by a photo-essay from his colleague James Welling.

'It's very surprising to me that this will be the first American retrospective [of Goldstein's work]," Philipp Kaiser, guest curator of the exhibit, said in an interview. "He's a household name and mythical figure among Postmodern artists and art students. His work has been shown all over the world since the 80s, but not in the U.S., which is odd considering his roots as a California artist."


Goldstein spent most of his life in Southern California. He studied at the Chouinard Art Institute and then the California Institute of the Arts, where he was the first person to receive a Cal Arts master of fine arts degree in 1972.

Goldstein spent time in New York in the 1980s, where he made a lasting impact, according to a biography of Goldstein on his estate's website. He returned to California in the '90s and disappeared from the art scene until he made a brief comeback in the early 2000s, soon before his death

Kaiser, 39, is from Switzerland. In November, he will become the new director of Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany. He began to develop "Jack Goldstein x 10,000" for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in 2010, but it was dropped from the program. OCMA reinstated the exhibition and brought him with it.

Having been immersed in Goldstein's life and work for several years, Kaiser cites the artist's heroin addiction and suicide as contributors to his ephemeral art and legacy.

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