Nottingham Contemporary Presents Anne Collier and Jack Goldstein

Nottingham Contemporary presents related solo exhibitions by Anne Collier and Jack Goldstein from 22 January to 27 March.

Anne Collier is one of the most exciting artists working in photography to have emerged in recent years. Around half her work involves re-photographing mass-circulated photographic imagery: record covers and posters of movie and pop stars. The shallow abstracted spaces these photographic objects occupy in her photographs convey the ambivalence with which she relates to them: on the one hand that distance makes visible and perhaps offers something of a critique of their stereotyping and emotionally-preformatted character, while on the other, their immaculate re-presentation seems to acknowledge the nostalgic and identificatory allure they hold for both artist, and by implication, viewer. The self-reflexivity of Collier’s practice is particularly evident in works that feature women as objects of photography, or the representation of women as photographers, as their subject; here, a subtle sexual politics is inseparable from the artist’s exploration of the locus of her practice within the wider image field. This sense of autobiographical enquiry is particularly apparent in her photographs of her own photographic self-portraits: one diptych consists of black and white photographs of her photographs of her eye drowned in a developing tray or sandwiched between the glass panes of a drying frame.

Jack Goldstein is an artist Collier, and many of her generation, holds in high esteem. The juxtaposition of their exhibitions begins to suggest a genealogy of appropriation from the 1970s to the 2010s. It also paradoxically suggests the psychological resonance that can arise from certain strategies of appropriating mass-produced imagery. Goldstein, for his part, was “letting you experience the sense of an extreme situation, but at a distance, so you can control it”, as he put it. Danger, disappearance and destruction are hallmarks of much of the penumbral imagery he appropriated (which with hindsight are difficult to altogether dissociate from his mysterious departure from the art world in the 90s and his suicide in 2003): a glinting knife, the MGM roaring lion, incendiary explosions, cosmic flares and lightning strikes. Both Goldstein and Collier studied under John Baldessari at CalArts, albeit decades apart, and both have divided their working lives between East and West coasts of the USA. Goldstein’s exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary is a highly select survey of his films, records and performances of the 1970s—including the complete series of his ten colour 16mm films from the middle of that decade – and paintings and word pieces of the 1980 and 90s. A seminal if relatively isolated figure within the so-called Pictures group of late 70s, the exhibition reveals Goldstein to be something of a “missing link” between the late 1960s, exemplified by Conceptual and performance explorations of the degree zero of art, and the high water mark of postmodernism in the 1980s.

Nottingham Contemporary
Weekday Cross
Nottingham NG1 2GB UK
[email protected]

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