BERLIN.- Konrad Fischer Galerie
is presenting a new video installation of Bruce Nauman entitled Practice. Since Six Sound Problems for Konrad Fischer, the artists first solo exhibition in Europe at Konrad Fischer in 1968, Konrad Fischer Galerie has held 18 solo exhibitions dedicated to Bruce Nauman and assisted in presenting his work at numerous exhibitions around the world.
Nauman has repeatedly made his body and his hands in particular the object of his work. Practice shows the artists hands slowly moving across an old wooden table. In this process, the camera alternately shows the left and the right hand making the mark. Permutation and alteration vary the image, creating a complex visual structure. The apparently endlessly repeating gesture remains the same, forming an X.
Naumans work was inspired by reading the catalogue The Reservation X: The Power of Place from the First Peoples Hall at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, which his grandson gave him. An illustration in the book showed a contract signed between the Canadian government and Isapo-Muxika, a chief of the Sisika, otherwise known as the Blackfoot. While the representative of the Canadian government signed with his name, the chief signed with an X. The Canadian authorities supplemented the X with the English name of the chief and the words his mark.
Practice, conceived as a 2D black-and-white video installation, represents the artists initial engagement with the issue. Over and over, Nauman rehearsed the movements of his hands and fingers on the table top. This artistic process developed to become the work Practice. The layers of meaning in this work refer both to practice in the sense of carrying something out and in the sense of training to do something.
Beside the new video installation, Konrad Fischer Galerie presents a comprehensive overview of his printmaking. Nauman began training in printmaking in the early 1960s while a student at the University of Wisconsin. Since the 1970s, he has explored a variety of techniques and still today collaborates with workshops such as Gemini G.E.L. and Cirrus Editions. In printmaking, Nauman writes, there is a sense of stepping back more. This is almost a contradiction because there is a directness in drawing, but in printmaking there is an added element of allowing the technique to be a buffer between me and the image. I like that, too, the mechanicalness of it.
Bruce Nauman (b. 1941) lives and works in New Mexico. Recent exhibitions include: Disappearing Acts (2018/2019), Schaulager Basel and Museum of Modern Art, New York; Bruce Nauman, Tate Modern London (2020), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2021), Bruce Nauman OK OK OK, M. Woods Museum, Beijing (2022) and upcoming at Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, Milan; (2022/2023); Contrapposto Studies, Palazzo Grassi, Punta della Dogana in Venice (2021/2022).
Nauman has received numerous awards, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennnale in 1999 and 2009 and Japans Praemium Imperiale in 2004.