Artist biography

Bruce Nauman born 1941

American sculptor noted also for his environments, films and videotapes. Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Studied at the University of Wisconsin at Madison 1960-4 (first mathematics, then art), and at the University of California at Davis 1965-6. Stopped painting in 1965 and began to make objects, performance pieces and films. First one-man exhibition, of fibreglass sculptures, at the Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles, 1966. Moved in 1966 to San Francisco. Made sculptures based on the backs of objects or moulded from parts of his own body; also works concerned with the notion of hiddenness or inaccessibility, and neon pieces with words (sometimes more or less illegible). Since 1968 his work has consisted mainly of performance pieces, e.g. films of such actions as Bouncing Two Balls between the Floor and the Ceiling with Changing Rhythms, or corridors and installations involving a limited degree of spectator participation and exploring effects of parallax, audio-tactile separation, disorientation, etc. Lives in Pasadena, California.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.552