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Bruce Nauman - Experimental Arrangements
Works 1965 - 1994
19 June to 6 September 1998

Bruce Nauman is considered to be one of the most important living artists, but at the same time his work is perplexing and not easily accessible. Following the comprehensive American retrospective, which was shown in Zurich in 1995, and the 1997 exhibition of video works in the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Hamburg Kunsthalle is venturing a new approach to Nauman’s work. The fact that the Hamburg Kunsthalle currently houses the most extensive Nauman collection in the whole of Germany makes an ideal starting point for this exhibition.

Two key aspects formed the basis of the exhibition concept. The first relates to a central characteristic of Nauman’s work: his principle of Versuchsanordnungen (experimental arrangements). Following rules he himself has defined, Nauman creates arrangements in which he subjects first himself and then the viewer/user to a form of experiment which aims at extending potential physical and psychological modes of experience.

The second determining feature concerns the fact that Nauman’s work was recognized earlier and more extensively in Europe than it was in America. It has therefore been possible to base this exhibition solely on works from European collections. The accompanying catalogue will devote particular attention to the reception of Nauman’s work in Europe in the early years.

Presented chronologically around specific thematic aspects, the exhibition draws together early objects, photographic series and videos, featuring tunnel pieces and corridors as well as neons, video installations and recent sculptures of carousels and heads. Where work processes play a significant role, large-format drawings are also included. The exhibition will consist of around 50 works.

The approx. 150-page catalogue will include texts by Uwe M. Schneede, Barbara Engelbach, Melitta Kliege and Friederike Wappler, as well as additional documentation of Nauman’s exhibitions in Europe.

Born in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana (USA), Bruce Nauman initially studied mathematics and physics before commencing studies in fine art. He attended the University of California, graduating with a Masters Degree in Fine Arts, and subsequently moved to San Francisco, where he took up a teaching post at the San Francisco Art Institute. He now leads a secluded life in Galisteo, New Mexico.

Hamburger Kunsthalle Glockengießerwall 20095 Hamburg
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e-mail: info@hamburger-kunsthalle.de