It’s nice to see Carol Kino and Marian Goodman together in the Wall Street Journal for the occasion of Goodman’s London space opening. At 86, Goodman is godmother of the art market, floating above the greedy scrum:
Although she had no business experience—or her own checkbook, either, until her divorce in 1968—Goodman soon became a preeminent editions publisher, working with Americans such as Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Larry Rivers. In 1970, the year Multiples exhibited for the first time at Art Basel, Goodman published Artists and Photographs, a 19-piece portfolio that’s now seen as seminal. Based on a show of the same name, it explored the way artists such as Ed Ruscha, Christo and Bruce Nauman were incorporating photography into their work.
Yet Goodman had sensed even broader vistas in 1968, when she visited West Germany for the first time to see the art exposition Documenta. “I realized there was a fully formed art world in Europe with major artists we didn’t know much about,” Goodman says. “It changed everything for me.”
On that trip, she discovered Joseph Beuys, the shamanistic godfather of conceptual art, with whom she published several multiples. On another, she became enchanted by Marcel Broodthaers, a Belgian surrealist poet-turned-artist whose installations often critiqued museum displays. Her efforts to find him a New York gallery led to “a strikeout,” Goodman says. So she did “the most irrational thing in my professional life for sure.” In 1977, a year after Broodthaers’s death, she opened the Marian Goodman Gallery with a show of his work. She was bent on exhibiting Europeans who might otherwise not be seen in New York.
At first Goodman, who supported the business with sales of editions, found it hard going. But “Marian was remarkably farsighted,” says Serota, “in choosing to work with artists who would have the potential for a long career, to evolve and develop. And then she stuck with them.” By 1985, the year after she moved into the building on West 57th Street that still houses her gallery, her program was strongly focused around post-minimalist, conceptual work, with Italian Arte Povera sculptors such as Giuseppe Penone and Giulio Paolini, and a lot of young Germans, including the installation artist Lothar Baumgarten, a former student of Beuys, and the then little-known painters Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter.