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Bruce Nauman

Disappearing Acts: A Long-Overdue Retrospective Of the Pivotal American Artist At The Schaulager, Switzerland

June, 2018
Installation view: Bruce Nauman, Model for Trench and Four Buried Passages, 1977 Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts, 17 March–26 August 2018, Schaulager® Münchenstein/Basel, installation view with Bruce Nauman, Model for Trench and Four Buried Passages, 1977, Plaster, fiberglass, and wire, Glenstone Museum, Potomac, Maryland, © Bruce Nauman / 2018, ProLitteris, Zurich, photo: Tom Bisig, Basel

Offering a dense and concise retrospective of the renowned American artist Bruce Nauman, the Schaulager museum in Basel, Switzerland presents Disappearing Acts. Remarkably, it is the first retrospective of the artist since 25 years. With a diverse and broad range of work since Nauman first began in the mid-60’s,when the contemporary artist deeply explored self-experimentation, voyeurism and psychological and physical themes through his neon, video, sculpture, photography, drawing and performative works.

The retrospective presents a wide collection of works including Corridor Installation (1970) which allows the participant to further analyse their own presence and movements (following earlier performative video and film works by Nauman in which he captured himself performing various repetitive, task-like exercises within the privacy of his studio).

In Disappearing Acts, Nauman’s self-experimentational work include Wall Floor Positions (1968) to new recordings such as Contrapposto Studies (2015/16) – the encompassing seven-channel video installation. In Contrapposto Studies, Nauman is seen walking up and down a narrow passageway, shifting his hips back and forth with each step in an exaggerated imitation of the conventional pose of classical sculpture. The viewer is left to more-closely re-evaluate human movement and it’s own sculptural forms.

One Hundred Live and Die (1984) usually only able to view at Naoshima’s Benesse Museum is also included, as a special loan from the private Japanese museum for the retrospective. At Schaulager, it is certainly one of the largest and strongest neon works (both figuratively and physically), with precisely 100 simple statements reflecting the in between of life and death.

Whilst Nauman may be more widely known for his neon works, the contemporary artist’s performative works stand consistent in their own right; to which Nauman continues to explore to this day. Currently residing in New Mexico, and now at the age of 70, Disappearing Acts at the Schaulager presents his most recent works created in 2017. If not only to refresh your memory on Nauman’s early 70’s work, but to witness his most recent developments; the exhibition is not to miss.

Bruce Nauman Corridor Installation (Nick Wilder Installation), 1970 Wooden wallboards, water-based paint, three video cameras, scanner, frame, five monitors, video recorder, video player, video (black and white, silent), Friedrich Christian Flick Collection im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, photo: Courtesy Friedrich Christian Flick Collection im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, © Bruce Nauman / 2018, ProLitteris, Zurich
Bruce Nauman Light Trap for Henry Moore No. 1, 1967 Black and white photograph, 62 × 41 5/8 in. (157.5 × 105.7 cm), Glenstone Museum, Potomac, Maryland, photo: Alex Jamison, © Bruce Nauman / 2018, ProLitteris, Zurich
Installation view: Bruce Nauman, Contrapposto Studies, i through vii, 2015/2016 Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts, 17 March–26 August 2018, Schaulager® Münchenstein/Basel, installation view with Bruce Nauman, Contrapposto Studies, i through vii, 2015/2016, Seven-channel video installation (color, sound), seven projections, running times range from 7:05 min. to 1 hour 3:21 min., continuous play, Jointly owned by Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation, gift of the president 2017, on permanent loan to the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung Basel; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired in part through the generosity of Agnes Gund, © Bruce Nauman / 2018, ProLitteris, Zurich, photo: Tom Bisig, Basel
Bruce Nauman, One Hundred Live and Die, 1984 Neon tubing with clear glass tubing on metal, 118 × 132 1/4 × 21 in. (299.7 × 335.9 × 53.3 cm), Collection Benesse Holdings, Inc. / Benesse House Museum, Naoshima, photo: Dorothy Zeidman, Courtesy the artist and Sperone Westwater, New York, © Bruce Nauman / 2018, ProLitteris, Zurich
Bruce Nauman, Wall-Floor Positions, 1968 (still) Video (black and white, sound), 60 min., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, purchased from Video Data Bank, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Exhibition file courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York, still: EAI, © Bruce Nauman / 2018, ProLitteris, Zurich

Bruce Nauman
Disappearing Acts

Schaulager 
17 March – 26 August, 2018

Bruce Nauman, Green Horses, 1988 (still) Video installation, color, 59:40 min., with two color video monitors, two DVD players, video projector, and chair. Dimensions variable. Purchased jointly by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, with funds from the Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, by exchange; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, with funds from the Director's Discretionary Fund and the Painting and Sculpture Committee, 2007, Photo: Ron Amstutz, © Bruce Nauman / 2018, ProLitteris, Zurich,
Bruce Nauman, Neon Templates of the Left Half of My Body Taken at Ten-Inch Intervals, 1966 Neon tubing with clear glass tubing suspension frame, 70 × 9 × 6 in. (177.8 × 22.9 × 15.2 cm), Philip Johnson Glass House Collection, National Trust for Historic Preservation, photo: Andy Romer Photography, Courtesy of the Glass House, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, © Bruce Nauman / 2018, ProLitteris, Zurich
June, 2018