Nauman, Bruce(nou`mən), 1941–, American artist, b. Fort Wayne, Ind., B.A. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison (1964), M.F.A. Univ. of California, Davis (1966). One of the most innovative and influential contemporary American artists, he was partially responsible for restoring political, social, and moral content to works of art and for lessening the influence of minimalismminimalism,
schools of contemporary art and music, with their origins in the 1960s, that have emphasized simplicity and objectivity. Minimalism in the Visual Arts
..... Click the link for more information. . The body, his and the viewer's, has been the focus of much of his art. Nauman has worked in many media, including sculpture (fiberglass, neon, rubber, and other materials), drawing, photography, video and film, sound, holograms, prints, performance, and installations. Highly conceptual and concerned with the process of making art, Nauman displays a witty, irreverant, and frequently ironic sensibility in work that varies from casts of his own body, e.g., From Hand to Mouth (1967, Hirshhorn Mus., Washington, D.C.) to flashing neon signs that frequently pun, employ homonyms, and otherwise play with language, e.g., None Sing (1970, Guggenheim Mus.), to claustrophobic cages and corridors and a variety of videotape installations, e.g., Clown Torture (1987, Art Inst. of Chicago) and Mapping the Studio I (Fat Chance John Cage) (2001). Nauman represented the United States in the 2009 Venice Biennale.
See writings and interviews ed. by J. Kraynak (2003); studies by J. Livingston and M. Tucker (1972), C. van Bruggen (1988), N. Benezra (1994), R. C. Morgan, ed. (2002), S. Cross, ed. (2003), and P. Plagens (2014).
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Nauman, Bruce(1941– ) sculptor, mixed media artist; born in Fort Wayne, Ind. He studied at the Universities of Indiana and California: Davis (M.F.A. 1966); after living in California (1964–79), he settled in New Mexico (1979). He is known for his sculptures incorporating aspects of the human body, as in From Hand to Mouth (1967), and his subsequent performance pieces utilizing film, video tapes, and neon lighting.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.