The show, at The Musée d’Art Contemporain in Montreal, aims to reflect the multidisciplinary aspect of Nauman, one of the leading figures in contemporary art, who has had a major influence on succeeding generations of artists for more than 40 years.
The exhibition is split in two separate but complementary parts. The first one, entitled Elusive Signs: Bruce Nauman Works with Light and organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum, features a remarkable series of about 15 neon sculptures and light installations produced in the first two decades of the artist’s career (1965-1985). Neon tubing fills the space both proposing word games such as None Sing, Neon Sign or Run from Fear, Fun from Rear or showing clown-like figures as Mean Clown Welcome. These light-based works apply irony and humor to the contradictions intrinsic to the human condition and its opposites of sex and violence, humor and horror, life and death, pleasure and pain.
The second half of the show, assembled exclusively for The Musée d’Art Contemporain, showcases a selection of films and videos from the 1960s, seminal video installations from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, and the masterly recent work One Hundred Fish Fountain, 2005. In Nauman’s films and videos, which focus on body language and usually show the artist “performing” in his studio, the artist expresses the passage of time, repetitiveness, the ritual of everyday gestures and the resulting self-awareness.
Find more about the show here.