Nan Goldin, Self-portrait smoking, Simon’s house, Stockholm, 2013
© Nan Goldin
Gagosian has announced the global representation of Nan Goldin, one of the world's most prominent photographers and artist-activists. Goldin will depart Marian Goodman gallery, which has represented her since 2018, a spokesperson for the gallery confirms. “We were proud to support Goldin’s work and activism over the last five years and we wish her well,” they say in a statement shared with The Art Newspaper. Goldin will continue to be represented by the San Francisco gallery Fraenkel.
Her departure from Marian Goodman comes after another of the gallery's star artists, market heavyweight Gerhard Richter, jumped ship after more than 30 years, signing exclusively to the mega gallery David Zwirner in December last year.
Goldin has been a prolific artist since the late 1970s, when she began photographing the queer subcultures of Boston and later New York, notably capturing portraits of her friends and lovers during the AIDS crisis of the 1980 and 90s. More recently, she has gained prominence as the founder of P.A.I.N., (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), an advocacy organisation for victims of the opioid crisis. The group, led by Goldin, focused on the involvement of certain members of the Sackler family in the sponsorship of art institutions in the UK and Europe. Members of the billionaire family were responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of the addictive opioid drug OxyContin via the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma.
Goldin's life and activism with P.A.I.N. is the subject of a recently released documentary by Laura Poitras, which won, among other accolades, the Golden Lion for best film at the 79th annual Venice International Film Festival.
Neither Gagosian nor Marian Goodman will comment on the specifics of or reasons behind Goldin's move, and it is not yet known if financial considerations are a deciding factor in Goldin joining the world's biggest gallery brand.
Gagosian's commercial operation may prove significant. The artist's art market, like many of her female peers whose work has been pivotal to the development of the photography canon, lags behind that of her male counterparts, while her secondary market has not seen significant development in the last two decades, with her auction record price standing at $284,500 for the work Thanksgiving, which was sold at Christie’s New York in 2002.
Gagosian has not yet announced when Goldin's first show with the gallery will be.