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BRUCE NAUMAN - BRK'ING THE MOLD


A December must...


Bruce Nauman's Disappearing Acts presented in two complementary parts, at The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 in NYC, NY.


A master of BRKing the mold...


Speaking on the behalf of the majority of artists who went to design school, we are pigeon-holed into using one medium or becoming proficient in one computer software to become an "expert"—stuck to one thing. Bruce Nauman breaks this mold. He is a colorful fish swimming against the stream—never sticking to one thing or one medium—making a name for himself as one of the most known and diverse artists in the world.


a - 1970

A bit of background…


For more than 50 years, Nauman has worked in every conceivable artistic medium, dissolving established genres and inventing new ones in the process—never adhered to rigid distinctions between the arts. His expanded notion of sculpture admits neon signs and wax casts, immersive video environments and bodily contortions ultimately heightening a viewers senses. Inevitably, Nauman has staked his career on investigating the future of art—the possibilities of what art may be.


Untitled (Hand Circle) - 1996

A taste of life...


Nauman's work generates emotions and feelings that its viewers cannot begin to explain—life. For over half a century Nauman has invented forms to convey both the moral hazards and the thrill of being alive. Never conforming to a signature style, the challenge to the spectator comes in a myriad of visual forms: delicate watercolors, flashing neon signs, sound installations, colossal sculptures, video corridors. His work manipulates time, space, movement and materiality revealing sensory experience to be an unstable foundation for understanding our place in the world.


One Hundred Live and Die - 1984

A sample of Disappearing Acts...


Disappearing Acts traces what Nauman has called “withdrawal as an art form”— both literal and figurative incidents of removal, deflection, and concealment. Bodies are fragmented, centers are left empty, voices emanate from hidden speakers, and the artist sculpts himself absentia, appearing only as negative space. The exhibition charts these forms of omission and loss across media and throughout the decades, following Nauman as he circles back to earlier concerns with new urgency. For Nauman, both making and looking at art involve “doing things that you don’t particularly want to do, putting yourself in unfamiliar situations, following resistances to find out why you’re resisting.” Disappearing Acts compels viewers to relinquish the safety of the familiar, keeping us alert, ever vigilant, and wary of being seduced by easy answers.


Contrapposto Studies, i through vii (detail) - 2015/16

A perception of time...


Nauman’s processes and use of materials leads us to question the reflection of our weeks and how we measure the unfolding of our individual life. Unlike the day, the year, or the seasons, the week has no basis in nature yet its familiar sequences are fundamental to how we organize our lives. By tampering with the routine progression from one day to the next, Nauman disrupts the conventions by which we mark the passage of time. Because in the end really, what is time? Nauman’s work is more than just tactile examples of breaking the mold but rather a message: live in the moment of time not chasing it or questioning its past.


Model for Trench and Four Buried Passages - 1977


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