What is it that an artist does when he is left alone in his studio? My conclusion was that if I was an artist and I was in the studio, then everything I was doing in the studio should be art . . . . From that point on, art became more of an activity and less of a product.
—— Bruce Nauman
Bruce Nauman is acclaimed as one of the most influential and versatile American artists to engage in the 1960s. Working in the diverse mediums of sculpture, video, film, printmaking, performance and installation, Nauman concentrates 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. Although his work is not easily defined by its materials, styles or themes, 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. Primary concerns in his work include body, language, wordplay, miscommunication and social spaces.
Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1941, Nauman received his BS from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and his MFA from the University of California, Davis. Since his first solo gallery show in 1966, Nauman has been the subject of many notable museum exhibitions. He received the Wolf Foundation Prize in Arts in 1993, the Wexner Prize in 1994, the Golden Lion at the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999, and the Praemium Imperiale in 2004 in Japan. Nauman represented the United States at the 2009 Venice Biennale, which was awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. Nauman’s work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Kunstmuseum Basel; the Hallen für Neue Kunst Schaffhausen; Kunsthaus, Zürich; Hamburger Bahnhof/Friedrich Christian Flick Collection, Berlin; Museum Brandhorst, Munich; Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago;Tate Modern in London; Walker Art Center, and among many others.