Bruce Nauman

La Brea/Art Tips/Rat Spit/Tar Pits

1972

Medium
Neon lights and glass
Dimensions
Unconfirmed: 619 x 584 x 51 mm. Weight 65kg
Acquisition
ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
Reference
AR00607

Online caption

For his 1972 retrospective, Nauman proposed an outdoor work that would encircle the walls of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which stands adjacent to a famous prehistoric site, La Brea Tar Pits. The piece included the name of the site along with two anagrams of these four words depicted in neon tubing. This work is an indoor version that Nauman made in the same year. Throughout the early 1970s Nauman created several more luminous signs that used a combination of witty word games and bold colour to disturb the meaning of everyday phrases and expressions.