MOCA North Miami.

Elusive Signs: Bruce Nauman Works with Light From Oct 13th, 2006 through Jan 7th, 2007Bruce Nauman has been regarded as one of America’s most provocative and innovative living artists. His recurrent use of non-artistic medias and materials has lead him to constantly challenge the aesthetics norms that have ruled contemporary art for more than three decades. This particular exhibition focuses in his approach to light as a language, specifically neon lights. Native from Wisconsin but settled in Nuevo Mexico, the artist got first interested in neon lights as an artistic media around the mid 60’s. This was a period where acknowledging stimulus from the urban landscape and the printed media in general was common place for many artists as Pop Art was breaking through traditional art forms. But Nauman cannot be placed in time or any specific movement. He constantly varies his artistic process to meet the demands of his ideas. He is a savvy artist with a rare understanding of the artistic practice. For Nauman, art is inherent to human nature, an activity that you cannot learn in schools or perform as a regular job. For him, if art cannot incorporate the most essential elements of ordinary life (too), it has to be reconsidered. The works in the exhibition illustrate how the artist’s mind appropriates the communicative potential of light urban advertising as to evoke socio-political commentaries. His “light wordings” resemble poetry that cuts to the essence of human condition while referencing themes of identity in a capitalistic society. For him, neon lights are a medium that is both, sensual and contemplative, while aggressive and penetrating of the environment, holder of a urban omnipresence, a wonderful media indeed. Light, as a symbol for spiritual invigoration, has offered the artist a medium that allows him to explore how perception is shaped, and how logic and meaning convey. In his hands, the playful nature of neon is transformed into psychological, social, sexual and political inquiry, charged with both, irony and humor. The pictorial potential of signs are portrayed in the series of large works representing life size figures in flashing lights simulating action. But the humor of the stick-figured Hanged Man (1985) quickly turns into horror when the game culminates with a graphic execution. Also, the jerky interaction of the two figures in Mean Clown Welcome (1985) portray the dichotomy of attraction and repulsion in human relationships. The figures both welcome and battle one another. The exhibition will be on view at MOCA through January 2007 and following its presentation at MOCA, it will travel to venues in Washington, Montreal, and Australia. For more information please call: 305.893.6211

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