“Nan Goldin: Stories Retold”

This week’s opening of the exhibition “Nan Goldin: Stories Retold” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston couldn’t be better timed. Goldin is known for her stark depictions of aggressive sexuality and drug addiction. “Stories Retold,” which includes the American museum debut of Goldin’s installation Sisters, Saints, and Sibyls, as well as the photographer’s 1986 magnum opus “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” (including Nan and Brian in Bed), comes on the heels of a major controversy and a major award.

Last September, police in North England seized a Goldin photograph from the private collection of Elton John under suspicion that it violated UK child pornography laws. The image, Goldin’s Klara and Edda Belly Dancing (which shows two young girls, one of them naked with her legs open), was scheduled to be shown at a forthcoming exhibition. In October, the photo, which had previously been shown in Houston, New York and other cities without objection, was deemed not to be indecent.

This year Goldin was awarded photography’s highest honor, Sweden’s Hasselblad Award, which canonized her among photography demigods like Ansel Adams, Cindy Sherman and Richard Avedon. Take that, conservatives! 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 12:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Caroline Wiess Law Building, 1001 Bissonnet. Through February 10, 2008. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit www.mfah.org. Free with regular $7 paid museum admission.
Nov. 4-Feb. 10, 2007

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