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Bruce Nauman awarded the Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts
Bruce Nauman, Kiesler Prize laureate 2014. Photo: © Jason Schmidt / Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York.
VIENNA.- Bruce Nauman is this year’s laureate of the Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts, which has been awarded in the past to Frank O. Gehry, Toyo Ito, Olafur Eliasson, and Heimo Zobernig among others. The international jury of experts agreed on the conceptual artist Bruce Nauman, who was born in 1941 and now lives in New Mexico , USA . The award with a substantial prize money of 55,000 euros is presented alternately by the Republic of Austria and the City of Vienna every two years. It honours “extraordinary achievements in architecture and the arts that relate to Frederick Kiesler’s experimental and innovative attitudes and his theory of ‘correlated arts’ by transcending the boundaries between the traditional disciplines” (Statutes of the Kiesler Prize).

Decision of the jury
The international jury pays tribute to Bruce Nauman for his strong but not mimetic relation with Kiesler’s concepts, especially regarding the sensorial and dynamic perception of the space. In keeping with the statutes of the Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts, the prize is awarded for “extraordinary achievements in architecture and the arts that relate to Frederick Kiesler’s experimental and innovative attitudes and his theory of ‘correlated arts’ by transcending the boundaries between the traditional disciplines”.

The parallels between Kiesler’s and Nauman’s oeuvres are manifold: they invent theatres of experiences – undoing the separation of the viewer from the object –, they explore the endlessness of spaces modelling new spatial topologies, both don’t shy away from dark humour and theatrics of the uncanny, both invent new machines for viewing from film to video, both create “fun houses”, from stages to carrousels. Both adhere to a constructivist visual pedagogy whereby corporal experiences undo the distinction between the object and the subject. Their art is an art of mental and bodily exercises, embedded in new architectural and technological space, with a preference for the “raw”.

Notwithstanding the different historical moment and context in which they operated, there is a strong relationship between Kiesler’s and Nauman’s attitude and interest in the correlation among the spectator, space, objects and concepts. The approach to the potential of art and language represents also a parallel to Kiesler’s fellow artist Duchamp. The interest in language and the continuous play of meaning the actions that result from communication and its rules connects Nauman to another Viennese theorist of the first half of the 20th century, Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Bruce Nauman upon the question of accepting the prize: “It makes sense.”

In Bruce Nauman one of the most significant artists of his generation is honoured
By awarding Bruce Nauman with the Frederick Kiesler Prize we continue a path that Frederick Kiesler with his holistic concept of the fundamental correlation of architecture, theatre, design, science and fine art already walked along. Here a tradition becomes apparent that characterises the Austrian cultural life significantly. --Dr. Josef Ostermayer, Austrian Federal Minister for Arts and Culture

As one of the most creative and innovative architects and artists, Frederick Kiesler has decisively shaped the development of art and architecture in the 20th century. In the form of the Frederick Kiesler Foundation the significance of this universalist is strongly embedded in the cultural landscape of the city Vienna . Bruce Nauman, one of the most radical and successful artists of his generation, fits in perfectly with the prominent league of previous prize winners. I am very pleased that his work is honoured with the Frederick Kiesler Prize 2014. --Dr. Andreas Mailath-Pokorny, Vienna City Councillor for Cultural Affairs

Bruce Nauman stands in a line with the world’s re-inventors who fathom and re-define the endless space of art. Frederick Kiesler and the laureate of 2014 connect the 20th and 21st century and – with their open work process – the avant-garde with the current interdisciplinary discourse of art and architecture in a global world. --Peter Bogner, Director of the Frederick Kiesler Foundation

Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts
At the express wish of Frederick Kiesler’s widow Lillian, the Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts was endowed in 1997. For 16 years the Austrian Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Private Foundation has organised the award, which ranks among the highest prizes in the world with its prize money of 55,000 euros. The laureate is chosen by an international jury of experts, comprising theorists, artists and architects.

Previous Laureates:
1998 – Frank O. Gehry, 2000 – Judith Barry, 2002 – Cedric Price, 2004 – Asymptote Architecture / Hani Rashid + Lise Anne Couture, 2006 – Olafur Eliasson, 2008 – Toyo Ito, 2010 – Heimo Zobernig, 2012 – Andrea Zittel 2014 – Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman
Bruce Nauman was born in Fort Wayne , Indiana , in 1941. From 1960 to 1964 he studied mathematics, physics and art at the University of Wisconsin in Madison graduating with a Bachelor of Science. In 1964 he went on to study art at the University of California in Davis , where he received a Master of Fine Arts in 1966. In 1989 Nauman moved to Galisteo , New Mexico , where he still lives and works.

Solo Exhibitions (Selection):
Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2010), Tate Liverpool (2006), Museum für moderne Kunst (MUMOK) / Vienna (2005), Deutsche Guggenheim / Berlin (2003), Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou / Paris (1997), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia / Madrid (1993), Museum of Contemporary Art / Los Angeles (1988), Contemporary Arts Museum Houston / Texas (1986)

Honors and Awards (Selection):
1990 Max-Beckmann-Preis, 1999 Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale, 2004 Praemium Imperiale Tokyo, 2006 Kunstpreis der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf, 2009 Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale

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