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 Bruce Nauman  (1941 - )

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Lived/Active: New Mexico/Indiana      Known for: abstraction, graffiti, multimedia sculpture

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Ad Code: 1
Bruce Nauman
from Auction House Records.
Henry Moore Bound to Fail
© 2001 Bruce Nauman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Bruce Nauman was born in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  From 1960 until 1964 he attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, first as a mathematics major, then studying art under Italo Scanga.  He received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California at Davis in 1966.  He worked in fiberglass sculpture and making films and taught at the San Francisco Art Institute.  In 1968 he received a grant from the National Exdowment of the Arts in make videotapes.  He taught sculpture at the University of California at Irvine; he continues to make sculptures and works extensively in films.

He married artist Susan Rothenberg; they settled on a ranch in Galisteo, New Mexico. He became a premier conceptual artist, combining industrial materials with Dadaist irony and a sense that an artist does not always fully control his art.  His art is never tame or polite.  Sometimes he works with neon, sometimes with video installations, and occasionally he paints.

Written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

Sources include:
Drawing Now by Bernice Rose, Museum Of Modern Art
From the internet, and
"The Funny Side of the Abyss" by Francine Prose in ARTnews, December 1999

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
With an ability to render form in a wide variety of materials including sculpture, videotape, installations, drawings, prints and performances, Bruce Nauman has had enormous impact on succeeding generations of American artists. His themes primarily have to do with language and miscommunication and the shrinking lines between what is private and what is public.

He was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and studied at the University of Wisconsin with Italo Scanga and then at the University of California at Davis with Robert Arneson and William Wiley. He settled on a ranch in Galisteo, New Mexico with his artist wife, Susan Rothenberg.

From there, he became a premier conceptual artist, combining industrial materials with Dadaist irony and a sense that an artist does not always fully control his art. He transforms ideas through non-artistic mediums such as commercial signs into humorous works of art.

In May, 1999, ARTNews magazine editors featured him as one of the top twenty-five most influential artists in the western world and credited him with making us realize "that disturbing and complex ideas are often best communicated in unorthodox and improbable media."

May, 1999, "ARTNews"

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

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