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Nan Goldin was born in 1953 in Washington DC, she works and lives in New York and Paris. Goldin started taking photographs in Boston when she was a teenager; capturing black-and-white photographs of drag queens, her friends and family, both celebrating and giving a voice to the subcultural lifestyle of her community. In the 1990s Goldin used photography to record her travels in Asia as well as the troubled lives of her friends, many of whom died of AIDS.

Nan Goldin is known as an artist whose output is inextricably linked to her own biography and for breaking down the traditional barrier between the camera and the object photographed. Her naturally lit images document her surrogate family of friends and lovers, and – more often than not – are frank confrontations with personal experiences and explorations of both intimacy and alienation.

Following her retrospective at the Whitney Museum of New York (1996) where her slideshow 'The Ballad of Sexual Dependency' was presented, Nan Goldin’s reputation grew, and now she is recognised as one of the world’s most important living photographers. Subsequently, another retrospective was organised by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2001).

Recent solo exhibitions by the artist include in 2023  Nan Goldin, Wilde Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland and The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, National Gallery of Australia; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, USA (2021); Librarie Marian Goodman, Paris, France (2020); Galleri K, Oslo, Norway (2020); Tate Modern, London (2019); Château d’Hardelot, Condette France (2018); La Triennale, Milano (2017); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2017); MoMA, New York (2016); MAM, Museu de arte Moderna, Brazil (2012); the Nederland Fotomuseum, The Netherlands (2010) and NOMA, Louisiana (2009).

Group exhibitions include: in 2020 I’m Yours: Encounters with Art in Our Times, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, US; Citizenship: A Practice of Society, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, US; Sirens, CAC Malaga, Malaga, Spain; Château de Versailles, France (2019); Rose Art Museum, Massachusetts, US (2018); Gagosian Gallery, San Francisco, US (2018); Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina (MADRE), Naples, Italy (2017); Sadie Coles HQ, London (2017); The McNay Art Museum, Sant’Antonio, Texas, US 2016), Sprovieri, London (2015); Le Louvre, Paris, France (2010).

She has been the recipient of many awards including the Ruth Baumgarte Award, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany (2019); the Centenary Medal, London (2018); the Hasselblad Award, Gothenburg, Sweden (2007); the Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, France (2006); and the DAAD, Artists in Residence Program, Berlin (1991).

In 2022 she was awarded the Golden Lion at the 79th Venice International Film Festival for the biography documentary ‘’ All the Beauty and the Bloodshed’.

Her works are part of major collections such as that of MoMA, New York; Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Guggenheim, New York; SFMoMA, San Francisco; Metropolitan, New York; ICA The Institute Of Contemporary Art, Boston; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Tate Modern, London.

Selected Videos

Fireleap, 2011