Jack Goldstein (American, September 27, 1945–March 14, 2003) was a visual and performance artist that used several different media, including film, records, sculpture, and paint, to craft unique pieces. These pieces were most commonly in the Minimalist style. He was considered to be one of the leading conceptual artists of his generation. Goldstein was born in Montreal, Canada, but moved to Los Angeles as a child. He trained at the Chouinard Art Institute in California, where he earned a BFA in 1969, and was part of the inaugural class of the California Institute of the Arts, where he received an MFA in 1972.
The artist had an eclectic array of work, including experimental films and experimental audio that featured vinyl records. He traveled back and forth between Los Angeles and New York City throughout the 1970s, and became part of Artist's Space in New York. His popularity reached its pinnacle in the 1980s with his salon paintings. These paintings were designed to be sold for large sums of money and to make a mark in art history. Many of his contemporaries accused him of selling out during the artistic boom of the 1980s. His work was often based on nature as well as science and technology. Goldstein strived to capture what he called the spectacular instant in his photography. With the art boom decreasing, Goldstein spent most of the 1990s in relative obscurity. He regained popularity at the turn of the century, and was featured in the Whitney Biennial in 2004 for influencing film.
His work has been featured at Orange County Museum of Art in California, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Luckman Gallery in California, Dart Gallery in Chicago, and many more prestigious institutions. Some of the artist’s most famous works include untitled pieces, Records, Under-Water Sea Fantasy, The Jump, and Bone China. Many of the pieces he made in the 1970s and 1980s have been an inspiration and influence to artists. Goldstein committed suicide in 2003 in California. Since his death, his work has seen resurgence in popularity with several posthumous exhibitions and publications.