The answer to the titular question is unhappily tragic. An enigmatic and mercurial figure, the Canadian-born Goldstein started out the Left Coast as a member of CalArts' first graduating class, in 1972. He came to New York in the mid-1970s, and it was here that his work—a combination of performance, film and audio installation, and later, photo-based painting—established him as a seminal figure of the Pictures aesthetic. His ideas dominated much of the discourse at that time, but as the 1980s wore on, he became increasingly alienated and withdrawn from the art world, and was all but forgotten by the 1990s, when he returned to California. In 2003 he committed suicide. This show collects examples from the high point of his career, especially a series of canvases depicting scenes of metrological and wartime violence. Once thought to be deadpan ironic, they have become all the more powerful in retrospect, perhaps because they reflect the artist's inner turmoil.
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