Bruce Nauman was born in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He currently lives in Pasadena, California. During the 1960s, he studied at the University of Wisconsin and Madison and then at the University of California at Davis. After starting out as a painter, from 1965 he dedicated himself to sculpture, performance and video. During those years, his sculptures took the form of casts of objects or parts of his own body. In his work in neon, senseless words follow one after the other, exploring aspects of illegibility and uncommunicability. Nauman regards the work of art as an action that can inspire reactions in the viewer that are both physical (unease, disorientation) and psychological (laughter, anxiety). His work explores the inevitable contradictions of human existence, such as the tension between life and death, pleasure and suffering, love and hate.
In 1999 Bruce Nauman received the Golden Lion as the best artist at the Venice Biennale, and in 2009 he represented the United States there with a pavilion that won the prize for best national participation. Recent exhibitions dedicated to his work include those at: Fondation Cartier for Contemporary Art, Paris (2015), Friedrich Kiesler Stiftung, Vienna (2015) and Gagosian Gallery, Paris (2015). His works were shown at Punta della Dogana in the exhibitions “Prima Materia” (2013-15), “In Praise of Doubt” (2011-13), “Mapping the studio” (2009-11) and at Palazzo Grassi in the exhibitions “Voice of Images” (2012-13) and “Where are We Going?” (2006).