Catalogue for Bruce Nauman’s first solo exhibition in New York City, at Leo Castelli, 1968 Bruce Nauman, January 27 – February 17, 1968

The first authorized monograph on the world–famous sculptor, photographer, and video artist.

In Bruce Nauman: The True Artist, Peter Plagens – a renowned writer, critic, and author who has known Nauman for more than forty years – delivers a personal and authoritative account tracing Nauman’s entire career, from his youth in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to his graduate work at the University of California, and through to the present day. Plagens first met Nauman in Pasadena, California, in 1970, where their studios were a block apart and they played basketball together every Sunday. Since then, Plagens has pursued a real understanding of his friend’s art. The book chronicles Nauman’s process, from the creation of works in his New Mexico studio to the organization, installation, and reception of his exhibitions. Throughout, Plagens is a savvy and engaging guide to the work, using his own attempts to puzzle out the meaning of the pieces, as well as the artist’s conversations about them, to offer readers a vivid and enlightening take on one of the key figures in contemporary art.

At 76 years old, Bruce Nauman is widely acknowledged as a central figure in contemporary art whose stringent questioning of values such as good and bad remains urgent today. Throughout his 50-year career, he has explored how mutable experiences of time, space, sound, movement and language provide an insecure foundation for our understanding of our place in the world. This richly illustrated catalogue offers a comprehensive view of Nauman’s work in all mediums, spanning drawings across the decades; early fiberglass sculptures; sound environments; architecturally scaled, participatory constructions; rhythmically blinking neons; and the most recent 3D video that harks back to one of his earliest performances. A wide range of authors – curators, artists and historians of art, architecture and film – focus on topics that have been largely neglected, such as the architectural models that posit real or imaginary sites as models for ethical inquiry and mechanisms of control. An introductory essay explores Nauman’s many acts of disappearance, withdrawal and deflection as central formal and intellectual concerns. The 18 other contributions discuss individual objects or themes that persist throughout the artist’s career, including the first extensive essay on Nauman as a photographer and the first detailed treatment on the role of color in his work. A narrative exhibition history traces his reception, and features a number of rare or previously unpublished images.

With a magician’s sleight of hand, Nauman’s art makes disappearance visible

At 76 years old, Bruce Nauman is widely acknowledged as a central figure in contemporary art whose stringent questioning of values such as good and bad remains urgent today. Throughout his 50-year career, he has explored how mutable experiences of time, space, sound, movement and language provide an insecure foundation for our understanding of our place in the world.

This richly illustrated catalog offers a comprehensive view of Nauman’s work in all mediums, spanning drawings across the decades; early fiberglass sculptures; sound environments; architecturally scaled, participatory constructions; rhythmically blinking neons; and the most recent 3D video that harks back to one of his earliest performances. A wide range of authors―curators, artists and historians of art, architecture and film―focus on topics that have been largely neglected, such as the architectural models that posit real or imaginary sites as models for ethical inquiry and mechanisms of control. An introductory essay explores Nauman’s many acts of disappearance, withdrawal and deflection as central formal and intellectual concerns. The 18 other contributions discuss individual objects or themes that persist throughout the artist’s career, including the first extensive essay on Nauman as a photographer and the first detailed treatment on the role of color in his work. A narrative exhibition history traces his reception, and features a number of rare or previously unpublished images.

Bruce Nauman was born in Indiana in 1941 and raised near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He studied math, music and physics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison before switching his major to visual art, and received an MA in sculpture from the University of California, Davis, in 1966. In 1979 he moved to New Mexico, where he continues to reside. Nauman’s work has been the subject of two previous retrospectives, in 1972 and 1994. In 2009 he represented the United States at the Venice Biennale, where he won the Golden Lion.

A prolific artist, recognized as one of the most influential of his generation, Bruce Nauman (b. 1941, Fort Wayne, Indiana) has developed an astounding body of work, combining sculpture, video, neon, installation, and performance art, since the late 1960s. Nauman is attached to notions or ideas concerning the body and identity, the function of language, the perception of space, and the participation of spectators. He is also particularly interested in the world of dance—expression through movement. Influenced by his encounter with musician John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham, he began producing in 1967 a series of filmed performances in which banal, everyday gestures or simple phrases are repeated methodically. In the 1970s and 1980s, he used neon in his works, playing with words or representing sexual scenes. Nauman’s more recent pieces continue to question the ideas or concepts he has explored since the beginning of his career, adding to an exceptionally rich body of work.  Designed in close collaboration with the artist, and published to coincide with an exhibition at the Fondation Cartier, Bruce Nauman presents photographs, notes, and sketches alongside excellent reproductions of art, all from the last four years, that allow the reader to gain a deeper understanding of a work that defies categorization, in the space between conceptual and minimalist art. 60 color illustrations

Bruce Nauman: Going Solo is the first volume in Companion Editions’ series of pocketbook readers. Robert Slifkin’s meditation on Nauman’s early films and conceptual sculptures explore the significance of the studio environment and Nauman’s relationship to privacy, identity, subjectivity and intimacy.

Intrigued and inspired by the neon beer signs on shopfronts in his San Francisco neighborhood, Bruce Nauman created his first neon piece, Window or Wall Sign, in 1967. He wanted, he said, to achieve “an art that would kind of disappear–that was supposed to not quite look like art.” Light offered Nauman a medium both elusive and effervescent, but one that could also aggressively convey a message. Over the first three decades of his career, Nauman used the medium of light to explore the twists and turns of perception, logic, and meaning with the earnest playfulness that characterizes all his art. Elusive Signs focuses on the discrete body of Nauman’s work that uses neon and fluorescent light in signs and room installations, and includes images of nearly all Nauman’s work with light.After Window or Wall Sign, Nauman embarked on a series of neons that grappled with the semiotics of body and identity, and with My Name as Though it Were Written on the Surface of the Moon (1968), he forces the viewer to contemplate the role of naming in forming identity. Language–signs and symbols–plays an important role in Nauman’s art. His later neon works emphasize the neon as a sign, presenting provocative twists of language and offering harsh and humorous sociopolitical commentary in such pieces as Run from Fear, Fun from Rear (1972). This series culminates in the monumental, billboard-size One Hundred Live and Die (1984), which employs overwhelming scale to bombard the viewer with sardonic aphorisms. In incisive essays that accompany the images of Nauman’s work, Joseph Ketner II of the Milwaukee Art Museum (which originated the exhibit this book accompanies) and critics Janet Kraynak and Gregory Volk analyze the works in light both as a body

From the beginning I was trying to see if I could make art that did that. Art that was just there all at once. Like getting hit in the face with a baseball bat. Or better yet, like getting hit in the back of the neck. You never see it coming; it just knocks you down. I like that idea very much: the kind of intensity that doesn’t give you any trace of whether you’re going to like it or not.—Bruce Nauman “Bruce Nauman’s art is about heightened awareness, awareness of spaces we usually don’t notice (the one under the chair, out of which he made a sculpture) and sounds we don’t listen for (the one in the coffin), awareness of emotions we suppress or dread… It’s hard to feel indifferent to work like his.”—Michael Kimmelman, New York Times One of America’s most important artists, Bruce Nauman has worked in a dazzling variety of media since the mid-1960s: sculpture, photography, performance, installation, sound, holography, film, and video. What has been a constant throughout his career, however, is his persistence in exploring both art as an investigation of the self and the power of language to define that self. The latest volume in the acclaimed Art + Performance series is the first book to combine the key critical writings on Nauman with the artist’s own writings and interviews with him, as well as images of his work. Bruce Nauman offers a multifaceted portrait of an artist whose determination to experiment with style and form has created a body of work as eclectic and perhaps more influential than that of any other living American artist.

This book presents a new and spectacular work by the most innovative of America’s contemporary artists: Bruce Nauman’s installation “One Hundred Fish Fountain.” Ninety-seven bronze fish are attached to a steel frame and connected by numerous hoses to pumps, so that the fish suck in and spew out water.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXSRotmymKQ

Providing a varied and extensive collection of texts by and about Nauman’s work, this anthology opens many doors into reading the layers upon layers of this artist’s ironic tragi-comedies… With its focus on Nauman from so many perspectives and its concentration on his performance and new media aspects, this book provides meaningful and extensive resources for both admirers and scholars… In the end, it sets a bountiful theoretical, historical, aesthetic, ethical, and critical context for responding to Nauman’s productions.

One of the most significant, funny, and nails-on-a-chalkboard jarring artists of the second half of the twentieth century, Bruce Nauman has expanded the scope of traditional art practice and influenced a generation of artists. He has made himself into a fountain (one-upping Marcel Duchamp?), cast the space under a chair, fashioned a screeching carousel of carcass-like parts, reinvented the neon sign as a contemporary haiku, and, most recently, recorded the dullness of his studio in real time. His ongoing investigation of our most basic physical, emotional and psychological states has been literally experienced by each of his viewers. “Bruce Nauman: Theaters of Experience” is a focused selection of works in a range of media, including sculpture, video, holograms, neon and architectural installations.

In this latest work by Bruce Nauman, first mounted to great acclaim at the Dia Art Foundation in 2001, Nauman presents seven large-scale projections of his New Mexico studio interior. Forty-two hours of tape were shot over 42 nights using infra-red lenses, and reveal the basic preconditions for his artistic production: his empty studio.

“From the beginning I was trying to see if I could make art that did that. Art that was just there all at once. Like getting hit in the face with a baseball bat. Or better yet, like getting hit in the back of the neck. You never see it coming; it just knocks you down. I like that idea very much: the kind of intensity that doesn’t give you any trace of whether you’re going to like it or not.”—Bruce Nauman

“Bruce Nauman’s art is about heightened awareness, awareness of spaces we usually don’t notice (the one under the chair, out of which he made a sculpture) and sounds we don’t listen for (the one in the coffin), awareness of emotions we suppress or dread… It’s hard to feel indifferent to work like his.”—Michael Kimmelman, New York Times

One of America’s most important artists, Bruce Nauman has worked in a dazzling variety of media since the mid-1960s: sculpture, photography, performance, installation, sound, holography, film, and video. What has been a constant throughout his career, however, is his persistence in exploring both art as an investigation of the self and the power of language to define that self.

The latest volume in the acclaimed Art + Performance series is the first book to combine the key critical writings on Nauman with the artist’s own writings and interviews with him, as well as images of his work. Bruce Nauman offers a multifaceted portrait of an artist whose determination to experiment with style and form has created a body of work as eclectic and perhaps more influential than that of any other living American artist.

Bruce Nauman’s art has ranged across a variety of media that includes drawings, sculpture, performance, photography, neon, film, video, holograms, texts, and large-scale mixed media installations. This book features a comprehensive catalogue raisonne with illustrated entries for more than five hundred works, including films, videos, performances, and photographic pieces.

Exhibition catalogue published in conjunction with show held November 6 – December 23, 1986. Text by Julian Heynan. Printed in black-and-white. Text in German.

In 1970, under her imprint Multiples, Inc., Marian Goodman produced a box of artists’ works entitled Artists& Photographs which reflected the involvement with photography of nineteen contemporary artists, including Dan Graham, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Smithson and Bruce Nauman. Edition of 1200 copies, of which approximately 200 were in the boxed edition “Artists & Photographs.”

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