Works by Bruce Nauman at Sotheby's
Bruce Nauman Biography
Bruce Nauman is widely regarded as one of the most influential American artists living today. The artist’s radically experimental works defy easy categorization, blending the styles and approaches of Conceptual Art, Performance art, Minimalism and video art. His heterogeneous and thought-provoking oeuvre showcases Nauman’s analytical deconstruction of aesthetic and physical experience through novel engagements with language and the body. Often imbued with satirical and socio-political undertones, his confrontational artworks draw upon various formal strategies, from clever word play to large-scale sculptural arrangements, which disorient viewers’ bodies and perceptual assumptions.
Born in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Nauman went on to receive his BS in mathematics and physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1964, and his MFA from the University of California, Davis, in 1966. Thereafter, Nauman supported himself by teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1966 to 1968, and at the University of California at Irvine in 1970. From the mid-1960s onwards, Nauman delved into his innovative practice, producing a versatile body of work comprised of sculptures, neon wall reliefs, video works, photographs and performances. His intellectually challenging works are remarkable for their musings on the complexity of linguistic construction and the alienated state of contemporary human existence.
Nauman has been the subject of many notable museum exhibitions, recently including his large-scale comprehensive retrospective Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and MoMA P.S.1, Queens, New York. He has been presented in solo museum exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Tate Modern, London, among many others. He has been the recipient of prestigious awards such as the Wolf Foundation Prize in Arts in 1993; the Wexner Prize in 1994; the Golden Lion at the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999; and the Praemium Imperiale in 2004 in Japan. In 2009, Nauman represented the United States at the 53rd International Venice Biennale; the US pavilion was awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. Nauman lives and works in Galisteo, New Mexico.