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Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman

United States • Born in: 1941

​Master Artists

Printmakers Artists

American artists

Born in 1941, Bruce Nauman is an American painter, sculptor and videographer. He studied mathematics and art at the University of Wisconsin, then continued to study art in California. He turned to abstract painting, influenced by the Dada movement. However, he permanently gave up painting in the 1960's to turn to other mediums.

His work is a continuous reassessment of the body and movement, and he is out of step with artists of his time. He doesn't limit himself in mediums and uses a variety of supports to make his creations, from performances to sculptures, painting, videos and installations… The artist doesn't claim to be part of any movement, but he is close to minimalism, conceptual art or even funk art. He seeks to challenge, to make an impact, as illustrated by his words : “I want (my art) to be vehement and aggressive, because it forces people to pay attention".

The artist attaches particular importance to the processes used in his works as well as the messages he conveys. Aesthetics are relegated to second place, and the object shouldn't be seen as an end in itself but as the culmination of a thoughtful and reflective creative process. His reflections on the body lead him to mould parts of his own body, which he usually presents in a dislocated way. He also creates performance videos which make the viewer reassess the body and movement. “Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter" is a series of videos where the artists plays with movements by accentuating them and breaking them down. 

In studying the human body, he looks at subjects such as language or the human condition. "Basically, my work comes from the anger that the human condition provokes in me. What makes me angry is our capacity for cruelty and the ability of people to ignore situations that displease them. What also fascinates me is how ordinary anger, and even the hatred you may feel for someone, turns into cultural hatred", explained the artist. 

He has exhibited in many institutions such as the Musée d'Art contemporain in Lyon, Montreal, MoMa in New York and also in Philadelphia and Switzerland.

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Who is the artist?

Born in 1941, Bruce Nauman is an American painter, sculptor and videographer. He studied mathematics and art at the University of Wisconsin, then continued to study art in California. He turned to abstract painting, influenced by the Dada movement. However, he permanently gave up painting in the 1960's to turn to other mediums.

His work is a continuous reassessment of the body and movement, and he is out of step with artists of his time. He doesn't limit himself in mediums and uses a variety of supports to make his creations, from performances to sculptures, painting, videos and installations… The artist doesn't claim to be part of any movement, but he is close to minimalism, conceptual art or even funk art. He seeks to challenge, to make an impact, as illustrated by his words : “I want (my art) to be vehement and aggressive, because it forces people to pay attention".

The artist attaches particular importance to the processes used in his works as well as the messages he conveys. Aesthetics are relegated to second place, and the object shouldn't be seen as an end in itself but as the culmination of a thoughtful and reflective creative process. His reflections on the body lead him to mould parts of his own body, which he usually presents in a dislocated way. He also creates performance videos which make the viewer reassess the body and movement. “Walking in an Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter" is a series of videos where the artists plays with movements by accentuating them and breaking them down. 

In studying the human body, he looks at subjects such as language or the human condition. "Basically, my work comes from the anger that the human condition provokes in me. What makes me angry is our capacity for cruelty and the ability of people to ignore situations that displease them. What also fascinates me is how ordinary anger, and even the hatred you may feel for someone, turns into cultural hatred", explained the artist. 

He has exhibited in many institutions such as the Musée d'Art contemporain in Lyon, Montreal, MoMa in New York and also in Philadelphia and Switzerland.

When was Bruce Nauman born?

The year of birth of the artist is: 1941