Bruce Nauman

1377 WordsJul 16, 20186 Pages
Poet Gwendolyn Brooks states, “Art Hurts. Art urges voyages - and it is easier to stay at home” which is true for many viewers when experiencing Bruce Nauman’s work. Nauman is classified as a contemporary American artist whose works also incorporate ideas of post-modernism and minimalism. He has been making art since the early 1960’s and has moved through many different mediums as his art progressed and his style changed. At first Nauman was a painter who soon ended that career and turned to sculpting, photography, film, and video. Bruce Nauman’s works of art have interested me and inspired my final assignment by his professional legacy, inspirations, and techniques. Although Nauman is now one of the most talked about artists in…show more content…
One of his biggest inspirations is Man Ray. Nauman states, “To me Man Ray seemed to avoid the idea that every piece had to take on a historical meaning. What I liked was that there appeared to be no consistency to his thinking, no one style” (Benezra 19). Man Ray who also used many different mediums liked to focus on the ideas he was trying to show to the viewer. This inspired Nauman because he was able to consistently change his thinking styles and methods of production in order to express his current ideas about the world. Another artist that inspires him is Marcel Duchamp. Duchamp uses word play and language with a satirical and absurdist tone. This inspiration is clear in Nauman’s neon sign works where he uses word play and language that is often satirical in order to expose public issues. Another inspiration of Nauman’s is his exploration of Gesalt Psychology. Gesalt Psychology is the exploration of human behavior in anxious or uncomfortable situations. In the novel Bruce Nauman, Schimmel writes “He not only makes art for us but also tells us how to see it. He creates situations and objects that demand extended concentration from the viewer” (Schimmel 69). From his research into Gesalt Psychology, Nauman became interested in how people behave when in anxious and uncomfortable situations and focused many of his works around giving his viewers this feeling. He used techniques such as putting
Open Document