This long overdue retrospective exhibition of Bruce Nauman includes video works, drawings, photographs, sculptures, neon pieces, and large-scale installations. In addition to key masterpieces, there are also lesser-known works and, as a world premiere, the 3D video projection Contrapposto Split, the monumental sculpture Leaping Foxes as well as the first ever showing in Europe of his recently created Contrapposto Studies, i through vii.
Born in the American Midwest (Fort Wayne, Indiana) in 1941, Nauman now lives and works in New Mexico. He studied mathematics, music, and physics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, before changing his major to fine art. In 1966 he graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of California, Davis—where he had studied with William Wiley, among others.
His groundbreaking oeuvre has made him a central figure in contemporary art, exploring themes such as language and physicality while at the same time plumbing the depths of power structures and regulatory frameworks. By insistently calling into question our aesthetic and moral values, as well as our habitual ways of seeing, Bruce Nauman challenges our perceptions and imaginings in ever new ways.
Disappearing Acts traces strategies of withdrawal in Nauman’s work—both literal and figurative incidents of removal, deflection, and concealment. With a keen eye, he investigates the experience of one’s own body and its relation to space. His works often have the character of simple laboratory tests or critical self-interrogations.
The retrospective subsequently travels to New York, where it will be presented at The Museum of Modern Art from October 21, 2018 to March 17, 2019 and MoMA PS1 from October 21, 2018 to March 24, 2019.