If you’re turned off by the bombast of infinitely escalating auction prices and big-tent contemporary fairs, take refuge in the elegant first American retrospective of Jack Goldstein. Organized by Orange County Museum of Art guest curator Philipp Kaiser, and in New York by Jewish Museum Assistant curator Joanna Montoya, the show is the gloomy B-side to the relentless pop staccato of blockbuster contemporary art. Yet artists today owe much to this cult figure.
THE UPPER EAST SIDE ART SCENE sure is getting wild. Long the preserve of the staid and genteel (old masters, modern masters and the like), the neighborhood has recently been seeing more adventurous fare. Three gallery shows that exemplify the trend—and a fourth farther uptown—are of work by artists who share elements of the same profile: the bad-boy avant-gardist with machismo to spare, rebelling against aesthetic conventions, social norms or both.
It’s about 7 p.m. in New York, and though you may not know it, you have an important choice to make. You can head back home, maybe have a quiet evening at your apartment—have some dinner, read a book, that sort of thing. Or you can head up to the Venus Over Manhattan gallery at 980 Madison (that’s between East 76th and 77th Street), which tonight is playing host to a relatively rare performance of Jack Goldstein’s Two Fencers (1976) piece. (Full disclosure: VoM is owned by Adam Lindemann, who contributes to The Observer.)
In 2010, after the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, hired Jeffrey Deitch as director, the museum canceled its planned retrospective of Jack Goldstein, a California artist who was central to the Pictures Generation in the 1970s and ’80s. The Orange County Museum of Art, in Newport Beach, Calif., then offered to host it, and it opened there last month.