Most of Us Are Immigrants combines language and objects to make conceptually-based public art that takes the whole city as its site. -- Roberta Smith, The NY Times, August 8, 1997
Janet Goldner, of New York, spends much time in Mali. She makes free-standing steel sculptures and wall-bound installations that reference her artistic lineage going back to the welded sculpture of Julio Gonzalez. But the work also displays her social consciousness and her deep continuing interest in African art. -- Carl Hazlewood, curator, July 2011
My work bridges diverse cultures, celebrating the unique beauty and genius of each as well as what we have in common. I explore culture, identity and social justice in various media: sculpture, photography, video, installation and social projects.
My life experiences play an integral part in the development of my work. A master welder, I work in three dimensions as well as on paper, on the floor, on walls, and suspended from the ceiling, indoors and outdoors. My installations include steel sculptures, video, photography and sound. My work combines poetry, patterns, forms and African themes that engage in social discourse.
I have exhibited my work widely throughout the US and internationally. Highlights include The Global Africa Project at the Museum of Arts and Design (2010-11) and Women Facing AIDS at the New Museum (1989) as well as Have We Met?, a major installation at Colgate University (2007). My work is in the permanent collection of the American Embassy in Mali, the city of Segou, Mali and the Islip Museum on Long Island, NY.
I have a lifelong relationship with Africa, especially with Mali. I received a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship to Mali in 1994-5 . Since my Fulbright, I have spent several months every year in Mali engaged in a wide variety of cultural research and projects concerning cultural preservation and contemporary art and artists in Mali.
I am the recipient of numerous awards including a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship and two Fulbright Senior Specialist grants. I have just returned from Zimbabwe on the second of these grants. I have also received grants from the Ford Foundation and from the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid. My published articles include a chapter in Contemporary African Fashion, Indiana University Press, an essay in Poetics of Cloth, Grey Art Gallery, NYU.