Bruce Nauman’s pioneering explorations of sculpture, video, performance and environments have influenced artists internationally since the 1970s. Yet it is ideas, rather than any medium, that govern the artist’s work.
Nauman studied mathematics and physics as an undergraduate: ‘I didn’t become a mathematician, but I think there was a certain thinking process which was very similar and which carried over into art. This investigative activity is necessary.’ Rooted in the human condition, Nauman’s art exists almost as a series of experiments in which all the diverse areas of human activity are tested.
The first half of this exhibition examines the artist’s use of language, his questioning of its success and failure as the fundamental means of human interaction and its use as a tool to control. In the second half the subject turns to physical behaviour, starting with the artist’s before moving to that of the audience through a series of environments that elicit predetermined physical and psychological responses.
Bruce Nauman was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1941 and studied at the Universities of Wisconsin and California. His first solo exhibition was held in 1966 at the Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles. He has exhibited widely in North America and Europe and since 1979 has lived on a ranch in New Mexico where, in addition to his studio practice, he breeds horses.