Bruce Nauman

NO (Black State)


Not on display

Bruce Nauman born 1941
Lithograph on paper
Image: 698 × 1038 mm
framed: 806 × 1135 × 25 mm
Purchased 1983

Display caption

Nauman''s work often antagonises or disorients. The ''No'' of this lithograph is in keeping with his refusal to offer solace or affirmation to the viewer. Its immediacy also demonstrate Nauman''s ongoing commitment to making what he describes as ''art that was just there all at once. Like getting hit in the face with a baseball bat. Or better, like getting hit in the back of the neck. You never see it coming; it just knocks you down''.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

P07938 NO (Black State) 1981

Lithograph 27 1/2 × 54 1/4 (698 × 1038) on Arches Cover paper, printed by Chris Sukimoto and Richard Garst at Gemini GEL, Los Angeles, and published by them
Inscribed ‘B Nauman 81’ b.r. and ‘9/25’
Purchased from Castelli Graphics, New York (Grant-in-Aid) 1983

This lithograph is one of a pair, the other being titled simply ‘NO’. Nauman worked with Serge Lozingot and Christine Fox at Gemini in the period between December 1980 and June 1982. One aluminium plate and one stone were used for both lithographs, the artist drawing the image with rubbing ink and tusche. For ‘NO’ the stone was printed first in black and then the plate in white, but for P 07938 the plate was printed first in white and then the stone in black, the overlaid black ink producing subtle grey tones. Nauman has used letters and words since making neon works in 1966–7 and continues to do so, often reversing, substituting or overlaying the letters of a simple word or phrase.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986

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