Jun 15, 2018

Art Reading: Bruce Nauman’s Disappearing Acts

If you were wondering what you should read this weekend, our suggestion might help you make up your mind. In today’s post we’re going to direct your attention to a new book about the 50-year long creative path of one of the most prominent contemporary American artists.

Disappearing Acts catalogues Bruce Nauman’s works and gives the key to understanding the artist’s complex relationship with space, time, sound, movement and word – all mediums that he has worked with to date.

The book not only catalogues Nauman’s work over the past five decades, but also includes contributions from 18 curators, authors, artists, historians of art, architecture, and film, that equip the reader with a deeper insight into Nauman’s process and psyche. In addition to the artist’s most notable works, it presents some rare and previously unpublished images.

Bruce Nauman shot to fame in the 1960s and has received ongoing acclaim for his versatility and Post-Minimalist works. He was awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the Venice Biennale in 2009. He abandoned painting early in his career and made waves in the process art movement, wherein the action of creation was every bit as important as the final piece.


Bruce Nauman, The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths (Window or Wall Sign), 1967.

Bruce Nauman, Model for Trench and Four Buried Passages, 1977.

The book is accompanied by an exhibition of the same name at Schaulager Basel. The exhibition has been well received and was described by Cool Hunting’s David Graver as an event that “features artworks both iconic and obscure, large-scale and intangible” and “everything one needs to understand Nauman’s complex vision”.