Born in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Bruce Nauman has been recognized since the early 1970s as one of the most innovative and provocative of America’s contemporary artists. He works in a diverse range of media including sculpture, video, film, neon, printmaking, performance and installation. Nauman continually questions and reinvents his artistic practice, concentrating less on the development of a characteristic style and more on the way in which a process or activity can transform or become a work of art.
Confronted with ‘What to do?’ in his studio soon after graduating, Nauman had the simple but profound realization that if he is an artist, everything he does in the studio is art. This early revelation is fundamental to understanding his creative output, and particularly relevant to an exploration of Mapping the Studio where the artist’s immediate environment – his studio - becomes the subject of the art.
Bruce Nauman in his studio in New Mexico, photographed by Juergen Teller © Juergen Teller
VIDEO - Bruce Nauman discusses finding inspiration in his studio
Nauman graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1964 with a BFA, and went on to study at the University of California, Davis, where he was awarded an MFA in 1996.
He had his first solo exhibition in 1966 and has exhibited widely since the 1970s. In 1981, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, organized major retrospective exhibition of his work which travelled to many venues throughout America and Europe from 1993 to 1995. In 1998 a major solo exhibition of his work, Bruce Nauman: Image/Text 1966-96, travelled to the Hayward Gallery, London.
Nauman lives and works in New Mexico.