From her first slideshow in a New York nightclub in 1979 to the five institutional shows scheduled in 2012, Nan Goldin has convincingly established herself as one of the darlings of contemporary American photography. There aren't many artists whose work invites you into their lives so definitively without feeling contrived, and that is one of the most singular aspects of her staggeringly large series The Ballad of Sexual Dependency series. Even the briefest scan of the 900+ photographs leaves you with the sense that the family, friends and lovers who comprise it are yours, too. Back to those 2012 shows, however: a solo at the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro and group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and Salone degli Incanti, Trieste all opened in February, with shows at Malba – Fundacion Costantini, Buenos Aires and the Tacoma Art Museum not far behind in March. Her Scopophilia exhibition is currently part of Patrice Chéreau's special program at the Louvre.

Image: Nan Goldin, Self-portrait, New Year's Eve, Malibu, 2006, cibachrome print, 30 x 40 in (76 x 102 cm). Courtesy the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York / Los Angeles. (c) Nan Goldin