Rafael Goldchain

(1953 – )

Rafael Goldchain: Journeys to the Imaginary
May 3 to 31, 2023

Rafael Goldchain Artwork Currently for Sale

Rafael Goldchain

Rafael Goldchain is a Chilean-Canadian Jewish artist born in Santiago de Chile. He has lived in Jerusalem and México City and moved to Canada in the late 1970s. He has earned a Master of Arts – Art History (University of Toronto, 2017), a Master of Fine Arts (York University, 2000), and a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Metropolitan Toronto University (formerly Ryerson U) 1980).

Rafael Goldchain’s photographs have been published in several books, including Ann Thomas and John McElhone’s The Extended Moment (Canadian Photography Institute, National Gallery of Canada, 2018), Andrea Kunard’s Photography in Canada 1960-2000 (Canadian Photography Institute, National Gallery of Canada, 2017) Ho Tam’s Frontline (Modern Press, Beijing 2011), William Ewing’s Face: The New Photographic Portrait (Thames and Hudson, 2007) and Joan Murray’s Canadian Art in the Twentieth Century (Dundurn Press, 1999). Goldchain’s work is the subject of two book monographs: Nostalgia for an Unknown Land (Lumiere Press, 1989) and I Am My Family (Princeton Architectural Press 2008), and of a documentary film entitled Beautifully Broken: The Life and Times of Rafael Goldchain (Willing Mind Productions, Vladimir Kabelik, Director 2013).

Goldchain’s photographs have been exhibited across Canada, the United States, Chile, Cuba, Germany, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, and México. His work is included in public and private collections including the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Portland Art Museum, and the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego.

Goldchain teaches in the Honours Bachelor of Photography at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.


  • 2016-2017 | Master of Arts – Art History, University of Toronto
  • 1998-2000 | Master of Fine Arts – Visual Arts (Distinction), York University
  • 1976-1980 | Bachelor of Applied Arts – Film & Photography Studies, Ryerson University


  • 2015 | Centre for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • 2012 | MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, Ontario
  • 2011 | O’Born Contemporary Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 2009 | O’Born Contemporary Gallery, Toronto
  • 2008 | Galerie Claude Samuel, Paris, France
  • 2008 | Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, Oregon
  • 2007 | Eleanor London Biblioteque Publique Cote St. Luc, Montreal, Quebec.
  • 2006 | Gallery Connexion, Fredericton, New Brunswick
  • 2005 | Rossella Junck Gallery, Venice, Italy
  • 2005 | Rossella Junck Gallery, Berlin, Germany
  • 2005 | The McIntosh Gallery, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
  • 2002 | Museum Synagoge Gröbzig, Gröbzig, Germany
  • 2001 | The Koffler Centre for the Arts, Toronto, Ontario
  • 2001 | National Library of Chile / Biblioteca Nacional de Chile, Santiago
  • 2000 | Begegnungsstätte Kleine Synagoge, Erfurt, Germany


  • 2022 | I Am My Family – Weisbadener Fototage, Museum of German-Jewish History, Weisbaden, Germany
  • 2020 | I Am My Family – Raw 2020 Photo Triennale, Haus im Schluh, Worpswede, Germany
  • 2019 | Close to Home, Oakville Trafalgar Hospital, Oakville, Ontario
  • 2019 | Beyond Boundaries. Aperture Gallery, NYC, NY
  • 2019 | True to the Eyes: The Howard and Carole Photography Collection. Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto
  • 2018 | Terremoto, México, 1985. Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto
  • 2017 – 2018 | Photography in Canada: 1960–2000, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, St. John’s, NL
  • 2014 | In Character: Self-Portrait of the Artist as Another, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto
  • 2013 | Clash: Conflict and Its Consequences, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  • 2010 | 131, O’Born Contemporary Gallery, Toronto
  • 2008 | Exhibition Prix Roger Pic, Société Civile des Auteurs Multimedia, Paris, France
  • 2008-2011 | Revolutionizing Cultural Identity: Photography and the Changing Face of Immigration, Oakland University Art Gallery. Rochester, Michigan, USA; Pier 21, Halifax, Nova Scotia (June-October 2011)
  • 2007 | Social Works: Rafael Goldchain, Vincenzo Pietropaolo, Larry Towell, Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario
  • 2007-2009 | Persona: From the Collection. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; Touring exhibition: Frederick Horsman Varley Art Gallery, Markham, Ontario (2009); Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener, Ontario (2009)
  • 2006 | Family Album, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York
  • 2005 | Trading Places, Le Mois de la Photo a Montréal, Saidye Bronfman Centre
  • 2004-05 | Broken Ground, Galerie Vaclav Spaly, Prague, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener, Ontario, Burlington Art Center, Burlington, Ontario, Acadia University Gallery, Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
  • 2000 | Intercept, Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario


  • I Am My Family: Photographic Memories and Fictions. With essays by Martha Langford and Rafael Goldchain, Princeton Architectural Press, 2008
  • Nostalgia for an Unknown Land. Introduction by Alberto Manguel and essay by Michael Torosian, Toronto: Lumiere Press, 1989.


  • Roth, Paul and Morel, Gaëlle. True to the Eyes: The Howard and Carole Tanenbaum Photography Collection. Hirmer/Ryerson Image Centre 2019.
  • Thomas, Anne and McElhone, John, 2018. The Extended Moment. Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada. 5 Continents Editions. pp. 197
  • Kunard, Andrea 2017. Photography in Canada 1960-2000. Canadian Photography Institute. National Gallery of Canada.
  • Ewing, William 2008. Face: The New Photographic Portrait. Thames & Hudson UK, Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • Dessureault, Pierre 1994 . Travel Journals. Canadian Museum for Contemporary Photography: cover, 61-64
  • Ewing, William 1999. Love and Desire-Photo works. Chronicle Books: pp. 35
  • Langford, Martha 2005, Ed. Image and Imagination. McGill University Press
  • Murray, Joan 1999. Canadian Art in the 20th Century. Dundurn: pp. 225, 226


  • Slezkin, Yuri 2022. Arias in the Archive. New York Review. Maria Stepanova’s In Memory of Memory (2021).
  • Fischer, Lars 2020. Jeder hat so eine neurotische Tante: Rafael Goldchain im Interview. Werser Kurier, Lilienthal, Germany
  • Halper, Judith 2020. I Am My Family. Shirat Hamadah. Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. pp. 36-41
  • Cavell, Richard 2012. Jane Rule and the Memory of Canada, in Unruly Penelopes and the Ghosts: Narratives of English Canada., Eva Darias-Beautell Ed. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Waterloo, Ontario
  • Boyarin, Jonathan 2017. Genealogies of the Future. Studies in Judaism, Humanities, and the Social Sciences.Academic Studies Press (Brighton, MA)
  • Boyarin, Jonathan 2015. Jewish Families. Rutgers University Press. 132-135
  • Ho, Tam 2011. Rafael Goldchain and Sara Angelucci. Art Panorama (China) 155.
  • Pardo, Rebeca 2012. El otro yo: de la autoficción al turismo identitario en el arte contemporáneo.. Revista Sans Soleil
  • Estudios de la Imagen, Nº4, pp. 74-93
  • Alterman, Esteban 2008. A Portrait of Me. The Jerusalem Report.
  • Holden, Richard 2008. Border Crossings, No. 108, p.107-109
  • Tolchinsky, Karen 2008. A Labour of Love. The Vancouver Sun Nov. 1.
  • Sher, Emil 2008. Portrait of the artist a s… well, everybody. Globe and Mail, Oct. 11
  • Bigge, Ryan 2008. A Picture and a Thousand Words. The Toronto Star, Sept. 28.
  • Medley, Mark 2008. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Family. National Post, Oct. 20.
  • Streicker, Joel 2008. Family-A Self-Portrait. Daily Forward, NY Oct. 16.
  • Passé recompose. Liberation, Paris, France 10 July 2008
  • Langford, Martha 2007. The Varieties of Goldchain Experience. Ciel Variable (C.V.) (March): pp 4-11
  • Khositashvily, Lily 2005. A Comeback from the Past. Georgia Today. Nov.
  • Swinburn, Gema 2001. Review of exhibition of photographs by Rafael Goldchain at the National Library of Chile, Santiago. El Mercurio, Santiago, Chile, June 17.
  • Mandujano, Victor M 2001. Foto Ficción Narrativa. El Mercurio, Santiago, Chile, May 10 th.
  • Mandujano, Victor M 2001. Lo Real Maravilloso. El Mercurio, Santiago, Chile, May 12 th.


  • 1994 – present | Professor, Honours Bachelor of Photography, Faculty of Animation Arts and Design, Sheridan College


  • 2021 | Guest speaker, Spanish Literature class of Professor Marjorie Agosin, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities; Wellesley College, MA.
  • 2019 | The Howard and Carole Tanenbaum Lecture, Ryerson University, Toronto
  • 2010 | Artist Panel Presentation, Society for Photographic Education
  • 2010, 2022 | Artist Presentations – Ontario College of Art – Photography Program
  • 2009 | Kodak Lecture – Ryerson University School of Image Arts
  • 2007 | Artist Presentation – Photography, Memory and the Sacred Bronfman Center for Jewish Studies, New York University, NY.
  • 2003 | Paper Presentation – 10th Anniversary of ZoneZero Colloquium on Photography. Centro Nacional de Bellas Artes (CENART), Mexico City
  • 2001 | Artist Delegate – State Visit to Chile and Argentina by Governor General of Canada


  • 2019 | Juror’s Selection, Lens Culture Portrait Awards 2019
  • 2015 | Finalist – Scotiabank Photography Award
  • 2001 | Delegate Artist – State Visit to Chile and Argentina, The Governor General of Canada
  • 2001 | The University Master Thesis Prize, York University 2001
  • 2001 | Established Artist Grant, Visual Arts, The Canada Council
  • 1989 | The Duke and Duchess of York Award in Photography. The Canada Council
  • 1988 | The Leopold Godowsky Jr. Photography Prize. Photographic Resource Centre at Boston University

Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University,
Kingston, Ontario
American Iron and Metal, Montreal, Québec
Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario
Biblioteque Nationale, Paris, France
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Toronto, Ontario
Citibank Canada, Toronto, Ontario
Clapp & Eisenberg, New Jersey
Dominion Trust, Toronto, Ontario
Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
Fasken Campbell Godfrey, Toronto, Ontario
First Urban Development Corporation, Montreal, Québec
Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, Ontario
Labatt Brewing Company, Toronto, Ontario
Morris, Rose, and Ledgett, Toronto, Ontario
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, California
National Archives of Canada, Ottawa
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Nissan Canada, Toronto, Ontario
Noma Industries, Toronto, Ontario
Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon.
Rose Corporation, Toronto, Ontario
Ryerson Image Centre, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario
The Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, Ontario
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario
The Toronto Stock Exchange
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Xerox Canada, Toronto, Ontario
York University, Toronto. Ontario

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