Refusing consistency and categorization, Nauman’s prodigious and unconventional oeuvre has made benchmark contributions in a multitude of areas, expressing his thought-provoking ideas in a wide range of media and materials such as sculpture, photography, neon, drawing, printmaking, performance, sound and video. As Glenn D. Lowry put in a nutshell in his foreword to the exhibition catalog of the major MoMA retrospective "Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts" (2018-2019),“Challenging the ways in which conventions become codified, his work erases all forms of certainty, mandating that we craft our own meanings rather than accede to more familiar rules. The lessons learned from Bruce’s penetrating intelligence become more and more necessary every day.” An indisputable hero of postmodernism with a singular lightning sharp wit, Nauman is known for his groundbreaking, provocative work that poses important questions about the nature of creativity. As Nauman describes,"From the beginning, I was trying to see if I could make art that… was just there all at once. Like getting hit in the face with a baseball bat. Or better, like getting hit in the back of the neck. You never see it coming; it just knocks you down. I like that idea very much: the kind of intensity that doesn’t give you any trace of whether you’re going to like it or not."Bruce Nauman, photographed in New Mexico on May 30, 2018. Alec Soth/Magnum Photos
Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1941, Bruce Nauman received his BS from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1964, and his MFA from the University of California, Davis, in 1966. Since his first solo gallery show in 1966, Nauman has been the subject of many notable museum exhibitions.
His first survey was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1972) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (1973). A survey took place at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London in collaboration with the Kunsthalle Basel and the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1986-1987). A major retrospective, co-organized by The Walker Art Center and the Hirshhorn Museum, opened at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, and traveled to Minneapolis; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Kunsthaus Zurich (1993-1995). Recent solo exhibitions include “Raw Materials”, commissioned for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall (2004), and “A Rose Has No Teeth: Bruce Nauman in the 1960s” at the Berkeley Art Museum, Castello di Rivoli, and Menil Collection (2007-2008). In 2015, the Fondation Cartier presented an exhibition focused on video and sound sculptures. Nauman 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 Premium Imperiale in 2004 in Japan. Nauman represented the United States at the 2009 Venice Biennale; the pavilion was awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. Nauman was the 2014 laureate of the Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize. The Museum of Modern Art, New York organized a major Bruce Nauman retrospective in 2018, making him the first living artist to have two retrospectives at MoMA. He currently resides in Galisteo, New Mexico.
Established in the spring of 2016 in New York, Edward Ressle opened its doors in a historic prewar townhouse on the Upper East Side, neighboring the Met Breuer. Noted for its challenging exhibitions of artists from different generations such as Francis Picabia, Richard Prince, Andre Cadere, Mike Kelley, Sarah Lucas, and Katherine Bernhardt amongst others, the gallery has presented thought-provoking projects that embrace diverse artistic practices. Located in a landmark building on 205-215 East Beijing Road in the heart of Shanghai’s historical Bund neighborhood, the gallery is within walking distance from the acclaimed Rockbund Art Museum, Christie’s, and the Peninsula Hotel. Measuring approximately 3,000 square feet, the space has revitalized the former headquarter of the Bank of Shanghai, whilst retaining the architecture’s Chinese aesthetic heritage and raw features of Art Deco.