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Jack Goldstein's Forgotten Paintings Go on Display on Madison Ave.

By DNAinfo Staff on November 14, 2012 9:16am

LENOX HILL — A gold bolt of lightening cracks against a blood-red sky. An antique airplane hovers dangerously close to a fiery sun. And a spy watches firemen standing plaintively in the street.

These images are paintings from "Where Is Jack Goldstein?" a soon-to-open show at Venus Over Manhattan, located at 980 Madison Avenue, third floor.

The exhibition, which runs from Nov. 14, 2012 to Jan. 15, 2013, uniquely focuses on Goldstein's paintings, as his short films and photos typically receive more recognition than his acryllics.

"Most of these pieces have been disrespected, thrown out, and kicked around," said Venus Over Manhattan founder Adam Lindemann of Goldstein's paintings.

Some expect that to change — for art collectors, at least.

Though a Goldstein painting might have sold for $6,000 in the 1990s, a medium-size work recently sold for some $420,000, DNAinfo.com New York was told.

And the artist, who commited suicide in 2003, is only estimated to have created 75 such works.

So gallery owners and art critics said they are eagerly looking to the auction block — where upcoming bidding will give a better sense of a Goldstein's market value.

But sales were not the focus of this new, private collection-based show — an unspecified number were available for purchase.

The tableaus present, however, feature sharply contrasting shades of light, bold colors, menacing meteorological formations, and sci-fi like portrayals of planetary bodies.

Some said the visual conflicts reflected Goldstein's struggle with mental illness.

"They're all paintings of this existential, nihilistic, postmodern, conceptual madness," Lindemann said.

Art Critic Brian Appel agreed that Goldstein's paintings dealt with dark themes .

"It's very voyeuristic," he said of a painting of firemen. "It's almost like [he's] looking through a lense."

Speaking of Goldstein's work generally, Appel said that renewed interest in him is not surprising.

"It's not dated," he said. "It has an immediacy."