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Born in 1941, Bruce Nauman is one of America's most influential and prolific postmodern artists. In a rejection of traditional materials, Nauman--who is best known for his sculpture and installation works--employs fiberglass, styrofoam, and neon lighting to create confrontational and visceral viewing experiences. Language also plays a central role as a visual tool, becoming both a provocative signifier and aesthetic object. In video works like Get Out of My Mind, Get Out of This Room (1968), the title statement is played over and over as a sensory trigger that is almost hostile in its repetition.
Time is undefined in much of Nauman’s work, as he often uses looped video and sound to make the beginning and end of a piece exist only within the context of viewing it. His conceptually refined approaches to body art and process art raise questions about the role of the artist and of art in society as well as larger questions of aggression and surveillance. When Nauman made a neon sign in 1967 that displays the phrase "The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths," the statement was less an assertion than a meditation. Nauman’s body of work forces viewers to grapple with such ideas, with their resolutions existing only tenuously within the realm of subjectivity, and within the viewer’s experience of the pieces.
Bruce Nauman is the 2009 representative of the United States at the Venice Biennale 53rd International Art Exhibition.
Watch Nauman's video piece Walking in an Exaggerated Manner around the Perimeter of a Square (1967-68) [via emvergeoning.com]:(read less)
Techniques & Media: Film and Video Art, Installation, Light Art, Painting, Performance Art, Sculpture, Sound Art
Inspirations & Key Themes: human condition, Language, Repetition
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Bruce Nauman Shows
September 19th 2009 - September 23rd 2009
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