1972-74 and The Other Side, a slide installation is an exhibition of over forty early black & white photographs by Nan Goldin. These works, made between 1972 and 1974, are being shown together for the first time since they were new, and over a dozen of them have never before been exhibited. They will be accompanied by the artist’s celebrated slide show The Other Side, never before seen in this country.
In the early 1970s, while living in Boston, Nan Goldin met a group of drag queens. They quickly became friends, then roommates, and subsequently her primary photographic subjects for several years. “I first saw them-
Ivy and Naomi and Colette-crossing the bridge near Morgan Memorial Thriftshop in downtown Boston. They were the most gorgeous creatures I’d ever seen. I was immediately infatuated…. They became my whole world.”
At this time, Goldin was first exposed to the work of Lisette Model and Larry Clark. Impressed by these photographers harsh beauty and raw vision, Goldin photographed her new friends daily, both in their homes and at what was then Boston’s most popular drag bar, The Other Side, which hosted beauty pageants every Monday night. The images she made of the hyper-glamorous beauty of Ivy, Naomi, Colette, and others became her foundation. These photographs mark the beginning of her fascination with and immersion in a marginalized world of night clubs, drag queens, and what she terms the world of “gender euphoria.”
Ten years ago, Goldin made a slide show named after the Boston night club where she spent her early years. The Other Side is comprised of images made over a 25-year period, beginning with the photographs on view and including work made in New York, Paris, Manila, Bangkok, and Berlin.
This is the artist’s seventh one-person exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery since 1992. Most recently, Goldin’s work was the subject of a major touring retrospective organized in 2001 by the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London; the exhibition traveled to Madrid, Porto, Turin, and Warsaw. In the past year, Goldin’s work has been included in exhibitions at museums in Chicago, London, Pittsburgh, Austin, Cologne, New York, Oslo, Boston, and Washington, D.C.