ARTICLE ORIGINALLY POSTED ON OCTOBER 10, 2016
Bruce Nauman was one of the most prominent, influential, and versatile American artists to emerge in the 1960s relatively to neon art.
Although his work is not easily defined by its materials, styles, or themes, the sculpture is central to it, and it is characteristic of Post-Minimalism in the way it blends ideas from Conceptualism, Minimalism, performance art, and video art. The revival of interest in Marcel Duchamp in the 1960s also clearly influenced Nauman in various ways, from encouraging his love of wordplay to infusing his work with a satirical and sometimes absurdist tone. Despite the impact of Dada, however, he has continued to view his artless as a playful or creative enterprise than as a serious research endeavor, one he likes to carry out in seclusion from the art world, one that is shaped by his interests in ethics and politics.
Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Studied at the University of Wisconsin at Madison 1960-4 (first mathematics, then art), and at the University of California at Davis 1965-6. Stopped painting in 1965 and began to make objects, performance pieces and films. First one-man exhibition, of fibreglass sculptures.
Since the mid-1960s, the artist has created an open-ended body of work that includes sculptures, films, holograms, interactive environments, neon wall reliefs, photographs, prints, sculptures, videotapes, and performance. His Conceptual work stresses meaning over aesthetics; it often uses irony and wordplay to raise issues about existence and alienation, and increasingly it provokes the viewer’s participation and dismay.