In Focus

Join our mailing list

Sign up to receive emails featuring the latest news and events.
We will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in any emails.
an animated gif of the words In focus

Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to introduce our new artist-centric newsletter IN FOCUS, where we'll take the time to delve deeply into one artist on the MGG roster at a time. Aiming to show a fuller picture of the breadth of our artists' careers, we will feature our favorite stories, podcasts, interviews, and videos from the archive, as well as new and upcoming projects.
 

Portrait of An-My Lê. John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

An-My Lê

An-My Lê (b.1960, Saigon, Vietnam) currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Raised in the epicenter of the American war in Vietnam, Lê experienced the turmoil of war at an early age. In 1975, Lê fled Vietnam with her family, eventually settling in the United States as a political refugee. As a refugee, Lê often grappled with notions of identity and authenticity. For generations, Vietnam had been westernized by France, then by the United States. As Lê recently put it, “How do you argue for authenticity in an identity that grew out of colonized cultures?” Lê found the answer in landscape photography. In 1994, after receiving her MFA from the Yale University School of Art, Lê visited Vietnam for the first time since her exile. There, she used a large-format film camera to create her photographic series, Viêt Nam (1994–1998). Through this series of black-and-white photographs, often shot from an elevated perspective, Lê reconciled her childhood memories with the country’s contemporary realities. The panoramic views enabled her to examine the terrain and to confront its layers of history. “My understanding of landscape changed when I went to Vietnam,” An-My Lê said. “Instead of seeking the real I began making photographs that use the real to ground the imaginary.”

Read more

Portrait of Christian Boltanski

Christian Boltanski

Christian Boltanski (1944 – 2021) lived and worked in Malakoff, a suburb near Paris. Born near the end of World War II to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, Boltanski was raised on stories of the Holocaust, resulting in trauma that would continually impact him and his practice. At the age of 12, Boltanski withdrew from his formal education, and, following his family’s advice, he started drawing, later turning to painting and experimental filmmaking. In the 1970s, however, Boltanski began to develop a more conceptual practice by taking found photographs and objects such as rusted tin boxes and lightbulbs and using them as a means to explore the transitory nature of human life. Recently, Boltanski, in his conceptual practice, had shifted his exploration toward mythology by creating stories around his immersive works for people to contemplate and remember. Many of Boltanski’s works are preoccupied with memory, mortality, and destiny—themes that adopt new meaning in connection with the events we are living through. It is his exploration of these universal themes that makes Boltanski one of the most prominent artists in France.

Read more

black and white image of Yang Fudong behind a camera

Yang Fudong

Yang Fudong (b. 1971, Beijing, China) currently lives and works in Shanghai. After receiving a BFA in oil painting from the Academy of Fine Art, Hangzhou, in 1995, Yang went on to expand his practice, developing a significant body of work mainly in film, film installation, photography, and, more recently, painting. Yang’s visual language has always been enveloped in a dream-like mystery, blurring the boundaries between reality and fantasy. His characters, often silent and disembodied, usually move according to choreographed gestures, transporting the viewer into aesthetically perfect environments—(for instance, the opulent, imperial court of the Song Dynasty). For Yang, the process of making a film should allow for experimentation. For this reason, Yang is considered one of China’s most important contemporary artists.

Read more

Dara Birnbaum, portrait. Photo credit: Rehan Miskci

Dara Birnbaum

Dara Birnbaum (b. 1946, New York, New York) lives and works in New York City, having received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon University, a B.F.A. in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, and a Certificate in Video and Electronic Editing at the Video Study Center at the New School for Social Research, New York. Dara Birnbaum’s pioneering video, media, and installation work has, over the past four decades, addressed the ideological and the aesthetic character of mass media imagery and has been considered fundamental to our understanding the history of media art. Birnbaum was one of the first artists to design complex and innovative installations that juxtapose imagery from multiple sources while also integrating three dimensional elements—large-scale photographs, sculptural, or architectural elements—into the work. In her videotapes and multi-media installations, Birnbaum applies both low and high-end video technology to subvert, critique, or deconstruct the power of mass media images and gestures to define mythologies of culture, history and memory. In addition to showing in traditional art spaces, other outlets for Birnbaum’s work have included broadcast television, MTV, video/music clubs, and public spaces such as New York's Grand Central Station.

Read more

Lawrence Weiner, SMASHED TO PIECES (IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT)

Lawrence Weiner

Lawrence Weiner (b. 1942, Bronx, New York) lives and works in New York City and Amsterdam. One of the leading figures of the Conceptual art scene since the 1960s, Weiner was among the first to propose a new relationship with art and redefined the status and function of art itself. Weiner’s body of work has, at its core, a fundamental questioning of the conventions of objecthood in relation to the producer and its viewer:

1. THE ARTIST MAY CONSTRUCT THE WORK
2. THE WORK MAY BE FABRICATED
3. THE WORK NEED NOT BE BUILT
EACH BEING EQUAL AND CONSISTENT WITH THE INTENT OF THE ARTIST THE DECISION AS TO CONDITION RESTS WITH THE RECEIVER UPON THE OCCASION OF RECEIVERSHIP

Statement of Intent, 1969

Since the late 1960s, Weiner has used language as the primary medium for the presentation of his work [LANGUAGE + THE MATERIALS REFERRED TO]. Weiner has produced films, videos, printed matter, artist books, and audio works. The work deals with the material reality of human beings to objects and their culture within and without the context of the art world. Each sculpture builds a distinct relationship with each cultural environment that it finds itself inserted into. Weiner's work has been exhibited around the world and presented in numerous languages and forms.

Read more

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders (b. 1975, Tacoma, Washington) lives between Berlin, Germany and Cambridge, Massachusetts where he currently teaches at Harvard University. Saunders’ practice connects painting, photography, and printmaking to the moving image, heavily referencing film, the history of cinema, and sometimes fiction. Originating in painting and drawing, Saunders practice is an effortless hybrid across media and format. His photographic works are made without the use of a camera, instead producing images–both figurative and abstract–with handmade “negatives.” By passing light through paintings onto photosensitive paper, Saunders creates photographic images that are at once painterly and luminous, which he then uses as a part of his animated installations. Saunders’ animations, often abstract, deploy thousands of drawings across multiple, custom screens, using the projected images to employ architecture as part of an immersive film experience. Writing is also a central element to Saunders' practice. A major new monograph, forthcoming from Dancing Foxes Press in Fall 2021, will include Saunders’ own writing, alongside recent essays by Benjamin Paul, Anthony Byrt, Miranda Lichtenstein, Hannah Klemm, and Jennifer L. Roberts.

Read more

Portrait of Chantal Akerman, photography by Jean Ber.

Chantal Akerman

Chantal Akerman (1950–2015) is regarded as one of the most important filmmakers of the late-20th century, having made a profound impact on feminist discourse within cinema, and within avant-garde film and video art at an international level. Born in 1950 to Holocaust survivors from Poland, the generational trauma of this experience was a continued theme in Akerman’s work and, later on, she began to explore her own Jewish identity. After briefly attending the Belgian Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle et des Techniques de Diffusion, Akerman made her first film at age 18, Saute ma ville / Blow Up My Town, which premiered at the renowned Oberhausen short film festival in 1971. Shortly thereafter, Akerman left Europe for New York to further her film career, where she began to frequent Anthology Film Archives, notably engaging with the work of Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, Michael Snow, Andy Warhol, and so many more. Akerman went on to make over 40 films during her life time, and is considered to be one of the most influential European directors of her generation.

Read more

An image containing a photograph of Robert Smithson

Robert Smithson

Robert Smithson (1938–1973, b. Passaic, New Jersey), was an artist who expanded what art could be and where it could be found. For over fifty years his work and ideas have influenced artists and thinkers alike, building the ground from which contemporary art has grown. Smithson was an autodidact whose interests in travel, cartography, geology, architectural ruins, prehistory, philosophy, science-fiction, popular culture, and language spiral through his work. He was fascinated by concepts of duality, entropy, and questions of how we might find our place in the world. In his short and prolific life, Smithson produced paintings, drawings, sculptures, architectural schemes, films, photographs, writings, earthworks, and all the stops in between. From his landmark earthworks, Spiral Jetty (1970) and Partially Buried Woodshed (1970), which celebrate their fiftieth anniversary this year, to his 'quasi-minimalist' sculptures, Nonsites, writings, projects and proposals, collages, detailed drawings, and radical rethinking of landscape, Smithson's ideas remain profoundly urgent for our times.

Read more

An image containing a self-portrait by Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin (b. 1953, Washington, D.C.) captures a world that is universally human, yet highly personal, in her richly colored photographs. Now living and working between New York City and Berlin, Goldin remains one of the most important and influential artists of her generation, having revolutionized the art of photography through her frank and deeply empathetic portraiture. Over the last 45 years, Goldin has created indelible images of the 20th and 21st centuries. By documenting her life and the lives of the friends who have surrounded her, Goldin gives a voice and visibility to her communities. In 2017, Goldin formed the activist group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now).

Read more

An image containing compositions of light by Cerith Wyn Evans

Cerith Wyn Evans

Cerith Wyn Evans (b. 1958, Llanelli, Wales) lives and works in London and Norfolk, England. Having studied in London at St. Martin's School of Art and the Royal College of Art, he began his career as a short and experimental film maker before turning to visual and conceptual art in the 1990s. Wyn Evans’ practice combines and re-presents recognizable objects, texts, and images in a variety of material – notably neon, sound, photography, and glass – to catalyze a multiplicity of new, open-ended meanings. Wyn Evans’ work seeks to create an environment that challenges the viewer's notions of perception and reality, often referencing and re-referencing his varied visual and textual sources (including film, music, literature, and philosophy) across different bodies of work throughout his career.

Read more

Giulio Paolini

Giulio Paolini

In the mid-1960s, Giulio Paolini (b. 1940, Genoa, Italy) became associated with the Arte Povera movement. Comprising an almost unchanging variation of materials (photographs, plaster casts, drawing paper, Plexiglas, objects), Paolini's work forms a dialogue with time and history. Each work possesses a complex structure that includes references to art history or literature, forming a coherent and polysemous whole constructed out of a set of fragments. Trained as a graphic designer Paolini has always had a special interest in the printed page. His artistic research has long been coupled with written statements and reflections collected in artist's books.

Read more

An image containing a skull, with words that read "I imagine you naked," as depicted in a portrait by Annette Messager

Annette Messager

From the 1970s onward, Annette Messager’s work has been known for its heterogeneity of form and subject matter, ranging from the personal to the fictional, the social to the universal. Through an embrace of everyday materials, and principles of assemblage, collection and theatrical display, her diverse media has included construction, documents, language, objects, taxidermy, drawings, photographs, fabric, embroidery, image collections, albums, sculpture and installation. Messager has explored fairy tales, mythology and doppelgängers throughout her œuvre. Often using reminiscence and memory as a vehicle for inspiration, Messager's wide range of hybrid forms has had an affinity with traditions as varied as the romantic, the grotesque, the absurd, the phantasmagoric.

Read more

An image containing a portrait of Eija-Liisa Ahtila, standing in a pool of a water with an umbrella

Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Conceptually organized around the construction of image, language, narrative, and space, Eija-Liisa Ahtila (b. 1959, Hämeenlinna, Finland) has long been considered a master of the cinematic installation form. Using the visual language of cinema, Ahtila presents large-scale installations with multiple channel projections on multiple screen constructions. These viewing conditions, with their simultaneously charged vantage points, break the tradition of cinematic perspective and construct an experience of several co-existing times and spaces for being. In her recent work, Ahtila has shifted her attention to more profound and basic artistic inquiries, experimenting with conceptions of theatricality and humor, alongside her greater guiding eco-cinematic question: how and with what kind of technology, drama and expressive devices can we build the image of our world in this present moment of ecological crisis?

Read more

An abandoned train car in the forest; work by Amar Kanwar

Amar Kanwar

Amar Kanwar (b. 1964) lives and works in New Delhi, India. Kanwar has distinguished himself through films and multi‐media works which explore the politics of power, violence, and justice. His multi‐layered installations originate in narratives often drawn from zones of conflict and are characterized by a unique poetic approach to the personal, social, and political.

Read more

Kids in an amusement park ride

James Coleman

James Coleman (b.1941, Ireland) is best known for his work in time-based installations. In his pioneering practice since the early 70’s, he works with meticulously-composed media including film, video, audio, projected slide installations and performed works for theatre which engage the viewers role in defining the experience of the photographic image. While Coleman assigns a subtle conceptual and temporal aspect to the experience of the image, his works are characterized by a sensual beauty and elegance that results from his embrace of the image's inherent uncertainties and potential..

Read more

black and white portrait of Rineke Dijkstra

Rineke Dijkstra

Since the early 1990s, Rineke Dijkstra (b. 1959 in Sittard, The Netherlands) has produced a complex body of photographic and video work, offering a contemporary take on the genre of portraiture. Throughout her career, Dijkstra has relied on the inherent temporality of photography to explore the changeability of the human condition. By limiting contextual information and focusing on subtle details, such as posture and gaze, Dijkstra encourages the viewer to look closely at her subjects. Dijkstra’s portraits capture people in transitional moments: her Mothers series captures the exhaustion and tenderness in a woman’s face after she gives birth, the Bullfighters series examines the physical toll and defiant expressions found on the matadors’ faces after leaving the ring, her Park Portraits show us a series of schoolchildren and adolescents in activity and repose, engaged in daily life, and her Family Portrait series, where young siblings are depicted in their family homes, natural in front of the camera but aware that a portrait is being made. Dijkstra’s most recent video work, Night Watching (2019), features 14 different groups of people observing and speaking in front of Rembrandt's large iconic painting The Night Watch (1642). By reflecting on the people in the painting, each group gives us an impression of their own dynamics.

Read more

Julie Mehretu at LACMA

Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu’s work is informed by a multitude of sources including politics, literature and music. Most recently her paintings have incorporated photographic images from broadcast media which depict conflict, injustice, and social unrest. These graphic images act as intellectual and compositional points of departure; ultimately occluded on the canvas, they remain as a phantom presence in the highly abstracted gestural completed works. Her work continues to engage us in a dynamic visual articulation of contemporary experience, a depiction of social behavior, and the psychogeography of space. Mehretu’s practice in painting, drawing, and printmaking equally assert the role of art to provoke thought and reflection, and express the contemporary condition of the individual and society. In November 2019, a retrospective of Mehretu’s work opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which will travel to The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The High Museum, Atlanta, and The Walker Museum of Art, Minneapolis. Julie Mehretu is a co-founder of Denniston Hill, an artist centered interdisciplinary arts organization supporting creative voices to help shape a just society.”

Read more

Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth  (b. 1954 in Geldern, Germany) is best known for his genre-defying photographs, though, he began originally with painting before he enrolled at the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf in 1973. Struth has developed his individual photographic practice, often penetrating places of the human imagination in order to scrutinize the landscape of invention, technology, and beyond (as in his recent CERN and Animal images). Celebrated for his diverse body of work – Unconscious Places, Familienleben (Family Life), Museum Photographs, New Pictures from Paradise and Nature & Politics – Struth continues to advance his vocabulary with each new series, while maintaining the same principles core to his practice.”

Read more

Niele Toroni paints his imprints on a window

Niele Toroni

Niele Toroni was born in 1937 in Muralto, a village on the shore of Lake Maggiore in Switzerland. At the age of 22, Toroni decided to leave his job as a schoolteacher and move to Paris to become a painter. Self-taught, Toroni became one of the first European minimalist painters in the 1960s. Over the last fifty years he has been using an unvarying working method which consists of applying, on every type of surface, imprints of a no. 50 paintbrush repeated at regular intervals of 30 cm. Considering himself as a painter, not an artist, Toroni aims at affirming the existence of painting as such. “I do not visualize ideas: I apply a paintbrush, the imprints of the paintbrush become visible, and this (the work/painting) may be generative of new ideas.”

Read more

Lothar Baumgarten

Lothar Baumgarten

Over the last four and a half decades, German conceptual artist Lothar Baumgarten  (1944 – 2018) has garnered critical acclaim and respect for his extensive body of work, which uses a wide range of media to question the very core ideas and systems of representation – from ephemeral sculptures, to photography, slide projections, films, sound recordings, drawings, prints, books, short stories, as well as site-specific works and architecture-related interventions.

Today, we explore a side of Baumgarten’s practice dedicated to sound. Each project depicts the soundscapes and landscapes of upstate New York, from the recordings of ice thawing on the Hudson river banks to the sounds of the region’s native fauna.

Read more

Cristina Iglesias

Cristina Iglesias

Throughout her career, Spanish artist  Cristina Iglesias  (b. November 1956) has defined a unique sculptural vocabulary, building immersive and experiential environments that reference and unite architecture, literature, and culturally site-specific influences. Through a language of constructed and natural forms rendered in various materials and ranging from suspended pavilions, latticed panels, passageways, and mazes, to walls imbued with texts and structural and vegetative forms, she poetically redefines space by confounding interior and exterior, organic and artifice, combining industrial materials with natural elements to produce unexpected new sensory sites for the viewer.

Read more

Tavares Strachan

Tavares Strachan

Tavares Strachan, the latest addition to the Marian Goodman Gallery roster, was born in Nassau, Bahamas in 1979 and currently lives and works between New York City and Nassau. Aeronautics, astronomy, deep-sea exploration, and extreme climatology are but some of the thematic arenas out of which Strachan creates his monumental allegories that tell of cultural displacement, human aspiration, and mortal limitation. Strachan’s ambitious, open-ended practice has included collaborations with numerous organizations and institutions, including The Baltimore Museum of Art, Prospect 3. New Orleans, La Biennale de Lyon, and The MIT List Visual Arts Center, among others.

Read more

Join our list

Sign up to receive emails featuring the latest news and events.
We will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in any emails.
Close

Your saved list

This list allows you to enquire about a group of works.
No items found
New York Paris London
Scroll to top