In two current exhibitions of paintings, short videos, and seven-inch sound-effects records from the mid-‘70s to the mid-‘80s, the work of Jack Goldstein (1945–2003) is just as conceptually acute as it is easy on the eyes. At Metro Pictures, Goldstein's gorgeous yet dissonant paintings seem to be based on photographs capturing nature at its most awe-inspiring (lightning flashes, volcanic eruptions). But does nature really exist in such luscious Technicolor? Uptown at Mitchell-Innes & Nash are several more paintings, nine handsome 7-inch discs, and an exceptional loop of his beautiful, spare videos. Obvious precursors to the work of contemporary artists like T.J. Wilcox, Goldstein's videos reveal the artist steeped in the same concerns that would later inform his paintings. White Dove, 1975, shows the futile attempt of a pair of hands to clasp a perched dove, which flutters away before it can be captured. The hypnotizing The Jump, 1978, presents rotoscoped stock footage of divers. The glitzy effect transforms the athletes into pixilated jewels, their lithe bodies spinning and twisting from highboards before disappearing with a splash into a black void. Goldstein's exceptional body of work elucidates a state in which beauty is experienced second-hand, inside the pages of magazines and television screens, and locates something more complicated than spiritual bankruptcy therein.

—Nick Stillman artforum

- bill 5-31-2005 8:22 pm

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