Born in Indiana in 1941, Bruce Nauman studied mathematics and art at the University of Wisconsin between 1960 and 1964, and received his MA from the University of California in 1966. Nauman’s practice encompasses an extremely varied range of media and his prints form an important part of a creative cycle that ranges from drawing to sculpture and from performance to video work. His first set of prints were published by Leo Castelli Gallery in 1969. Between 1972 and 1973 he worked at Gemini GEL on a series of seven prints which explore the functionality of language through the depiction of words.

An example of this can be seen in the work Vision, in which the word ‘vision’ is rendered barely visible in thin black lettering against a stark white ground. The viewer must move close to the work for the word to become clear. In this way Nauman makes a pun on the concept of double vision, forcing the viewer to experience the word as both a signifier and a material object.
Emilie Owens
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Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated December 2014