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Press Release

New York, NY: 29 August 2016 – Sperone Westwater is pleased to announce a new video installation by Bruce Nauman, widely regarded to be among the most important living American artists and as a catalyst for the recent shift in international artistic practice toward conceptual and performative uses of language and the body. Since the 1960s, Nauman has pioneered durational practices and time-based media, as well as having established a conceptually rigorous approach across sculpture, sound, drawing, photography, film, and video that continues to inspire a younger generation of artists working in these forms today. This solo show is the twelfth of Nauman’s work at the gallery since 1976.

Contrapposto Studies, i through vii, consists of seven large-scale, high definition video projections with sound. In each projection, Nauman walks in contrapposto, seen either frontally or in profile. Across the projections, his image is repeated and rendered in both positive and negative, while walking backwards and forwards, respectively. At times, the repeated images of the artist’s body become fragmented and stacked in two distinct layers. Each projection is accompanied by the sound of the artist’s movements, as well as ancillary studio sounds resulting from the filming and editing process. The installation was developed in dialogue with Contrapposto Studies, I through VII, presented concurrently at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In the work at Sperone Westwater, Nauman walks forward in the negative and backward in the positive. The work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is the opposite – Nauman walks forward in the positive and backward in the negative. Nauman's Contrapposto Studies take as a point of departure the artist’s formative work Walk with Contrapposto, 1968, in which Nauman executes an exaggerated walk along a tall, narrow corridor. Here, Nauman digitally transforms a singular gesture into an increasingly complex visual and auditory experience.

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 travelled 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 Praemium 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. Since his first exhibition at Sperone Westwater in 1976, Nauman has exhibited regularly at the gallery (1982, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1996, 2002, 2008, 2010, 2013, and 2016).

Contrapposto Studies, i through vii, is on view at Sperone Westwater from 10 September – 29 October 2016, opening on Saturday 10 September. The Philadelphia Museum of Art will present a complementary work, Contrapposto Studies, I through VII, from 18 September 2016 – 8 January 2017. 

For more information, please contact:

Gallery Contact:
Lucie Kessler
+1 212 999 7337

Media Contact:
Justin Conner
+1 917 609 8499


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