Nan Goldin had a significant presence in Artangel’s 2016 exhibition 'Inside: Artists and Writers in Reading Prison', installing a number of new works in a row of cells on one wing of the prison.

These included a number of video works showing a partial history of gay desire in cinema, including 'Different from the others', one of the first gay-themed films, released in Germany in 1919 and quickly suppressed, Jean Genet’s 1950 film 'Un Chant d’Amour', banned during the writer’s lifetime for its explicit portrayal of rapturous homosexual love, and early film versions of Oscar Wilde’s last play 'Salomé'.

Goldin plastered the walls of one of the cells with a large number of photographs of a close friend and muse, the German actor Clemens Shick. Taken between 1996 and 2012, the photographs show Clemens close-up and often naked. Alluding to Oscar Wilde’s fatal attraction for his young lover Bosie (Lord Alfred Douglas), Goldin titled her installation 'The Boy'.

Water recurs throughout Goldin’s work, and in particular the sensation of pleasure and release of the body in water. Goldin has chosen a single photograph from 'The Boy', of Clemens submerged in a bath, taken in Sag Harbor on Long Island.


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About Nan Goldin

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Nan Goldin first began taking photographs whilst living amongst the gay and transgender community in Boston in the 1970s. 'The Ballad of Sexual Dependency', first a slide-show with music and then a book published in 1986, charted a decade of living and dying in the exuberant underground of New York. Challenging the conventional codes of social documentary, Goldin’s unflinching, intimate photographs of herself, her friends and lovers continue to be highly influential.

Surveys of Goldin’s work have been presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, and Whitechapel Gallery, London. Important publications include 'The Other Side' (1993), 'I’ll be Your Mirror' (1996), 'Chasing a Shadow' (2006) and 'Eden and After' (2014).

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Clemens under water, Sag Harbor, 2000
Lot Number 017
Cibachrome print on Fuji Flex paper
76 x 102 cm (29.92 x 40.16 in) - Framed Dimensions
6 of 15
Courtesy of the artist
Signed label on verso
Estimate £12,000 - £15,000
Ends Jun 28 at 5:45pm ET
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Nan Goldin
Clemens under water, Sag Harbor
  • Dimensions
    76 x 102 cm (29.92 x 40.16 in) - Framed Dimensions