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The Pull

Artist:
Jack Goldstein (American, born Canada, 1945–2003)
Date:
1976
Medium:
Chromogenic prints
Dimensions:
Frame: 76.2 x 101.6 cm (30 x 40 in.) each
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Buddy Taub Foundation Gift and Vital Projects Fund Inc. Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2009
Accession Number:
2009.293a–c
Rights and Reproduction:
© The Estate of Jack Goldstein
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 851
Born in the postwar baby boom, Goldstein grew up surrounded by the products of the rapidly expanding media culture-movies, television, newspapers, magazines, and advertisements of all kinds. Young artists such as Goldstein went on to be educated in the rigorous and reductive principles of Minimal and Conceptual art during the 1970s but knew from personal experience that images shape our sense of the world and who we are, rather than vice versa; they made their art reflect that secondhand relationship to reality.
In this early work, Goldstein has lifted, or "appropriated," images of a deep sea diver, a falling figure, and a spaceman from unknown printed sources-isolating them from their original contexts and setting them at a very small scale against monochromatic backgrounds (green for sea, blue for sky, and white for space), as if the viewer were seeing them from a great distance. Because the viewer is unlikely to have seen such figures firsthand, that distance is not merely spatial but also epistemological in nature-the images trigger memories based not on original encounters but on reproductions of experience. The Pull-Goldstein's only photographic work in a career that spanned painting, performance, film, and sound recordings-was included in "Pictures," a seminal 1977 exhibition at Artist's Space in New York, which also introduced the public to other young artists making use of appropriation, such as Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, and Troy Brauntuch.
Jack Goldstein; Ann A. Wyatt, purchased 1977–78

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