Bruce Nauman (USA, 1941)
Bruce Nauman was one of the most prominent, influential, and versatile American artists to emerge in the 1960s. Although his work is not easily defined by its materials, styles, or themes, sculpture is central to it, and it is characteristic of Post-Minimalism in the way it blends ideas from Conceptualism, Minimalism, performance art and video art. He 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. In these conceptual works, Nauman uses his body as an art object, executing repetitive performance actions in his studio. Exploiting the phenomenology of the medium, including its immediacy, space, and intimacy, his real-time gestures investigate the very process of making art. In 1966, the Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles, held Nauman’s first solo exhibition. In 1968, the Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, and the Galerie Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf, initiated a long series of solo shows. Also in 1968, he was invited for the first time to participate in Documenta 4 in Kassel, and received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts that enabled him to work in New York for one year.