After graduating from Knox College in 1968, she continued her studies in art and recieved her MA degree in 1969 from The City College of the City University of New York, School of Fine Arts. The artists works can be found in Museo d`Arte Moderna (1973, San Marino), Turkish House (1977, New York), House of Humour and Satire (1995, Gabrovo), Schenectady Museum (1998, New York), Chihiro Art Museum (1999, Tokyo), & and in The National Art Library collection of Victoria & Albert Museum in London (2005).
While she was living in New York City, she has held exhibitons in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, First National City Bank, Lynn Kottler and Total Media Galleries. In Turkey, she has held solo and group exhibitions in major galleries including Melda Kaptana, American Cultural Center, Baraz, Taksim, Lebriz, Urart, Kile, Artisan, Garanti Art, PG Art, Selvin, Yapı Kredi Kazım Taşkent, Milli Reasürans Galleries and Apel. She was awarded with the second prize of the Bender Exhibit, in 1967 (Illionis), Jury Honorary Degree in 8th. DYO Painting Exhibition in 1974 (Istanbul), Jury Honorary Degree for the Contemporary Artists, 5th. Istanbul Exhibition in1984, and an honourable mention of the 19th. DYO Painting Exhibition in 1985 (Istanbul).
During 1984-88, together with three other artists, she exhibited her works on paper in various cities of U.S.A. and Canada under the name of Four Women Artists of Istanbul. In 1999, Can Göknil was awarded with "Grand Prix - Golden Aesop" of the Gabrovo Biennial. Following year, she held her solo exhibition in Gabrovos House of Humuour and Satire. She has participated in Book As Art exhibition at The National Museum of Women in the Arts in 2004, (Washington D.C.) Her hand-printed artists books were on display during the fall of 2003 in Chihiro Art Museum (Tokyo) before their recent acceptance to The National Art Library collection of Victoria & Albert Museum in 2005 (London). During 2008, at the Frankfurt Book Fair, she displayed her bookworks with Buck Druck Kunst and Gallery Apel,while simultaniously participating at Istanbul Contemporary Art Fair with her new series called The Lunar Attraction.
The images of Can Göknils personal exhibitions weave around mythological subjects. For her, mythology is the richest and most universal of sources an artist can reach out to. She finds her themes within the beliefs and traditions of her cultural heritage, exploring each phase in depth, and so she sets out to create her own interpretation applying different techniques of artistry most befitting to the theme at hand.
The artist also writes and illustrates childrens picture books. Her studio is in Etiler, Istanbul.