Valérie in Bright Light, Paris

Nan Goldin (American, born Washington, D.C., 1953)

Silver dye bleach print
76.2 x 101.6 cm (30 x 40 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Jeannie Freilich, in memory of her father, Dr. Marvin S. Freilich, 2005
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Following in the tradition of Robert Frank and Helen Levitt, Goldin is her generation's greatest practitioner of the "snapshot aesthetic"-the casual, diaristic mode that yields images that, in the right hands, are both spontaneous and carefully seen, tossed off and irreducibly correct. She is best known for her harrowing and bittersweet photographic chronicle of hipster life on the Lower East Side of New York during the 1970s and early 1980s, originally shown as a side show and later published as The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.
    Goldin has lived in Paris since 2001 and now documents the personal lives of her bohemian-bourgeois friends and their families. She has exchanged much of the blistering conflict and emotional anguish of her youth for a quieter, more reflective mood. The characteristic blur and off-kilter framing of the artist's style have softened into a rich, mellow chiaroscuro and less jarring, though equally satisfying, depictions of the intimate space between artist and subject.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed in ink on label affixed to verso

  • Provenance

    the artist; [Matthew Marks Gallery, New York]; Jeannie Freilich, New York

  • See also