Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Studied at the University of Wisconsin at Madison 1960-4 (first mathematics, then art), and at the University of California at Davis 1965-6. Stopped painting in 1965 and began to make objects, performance pieces and films. First one-man exhibition, of fiberglass sculptures, at the Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles, 1966. Moved in 1966 to San Francisco.

Made sculptures based on the backs of objects or moulded from parts of his own body; also works concerned with the notion of hiddenness or inaccessibility, and neon pieces with words (sometimes more or less illegible). Since 1968 his work has consisted mainly of performance pieces, e.g. films of such actions as “Bouncing Two Balls between the Floor and the Ceiling with Changing Rhythms”, or corridors and installations involving a limited degree of spectator participation and exploring effects of parallax, audio-tactile separation, disorientation, etc.

Bruce Nauman
Bruce Nauman
Fort Wayne, 1941

Current Exhibitions

Prisoner of Love

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

26 Jan — 27 Oct
The collective exhibition “Prisoner of Love” revolves around life’s heights and depths, exploring the most intense emotions which characterise human experience. The exhibition focuses, in particular, on MCA’s...

Past Exhibitions

Sanguine: Luc Tuymans on Baroque

Fondazione Prada, Milan
18/10/2018 — 25/02/2019

The World on Paper

27/09/2018 — 07/01/2019

Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts

17/03/2018 — 26/08/2018

Bruce Nauman: Parameters

Estancia FEMSA – Casa Luis Barragán
03/02/2018 — 15/04/2018

A century of portraits

Laleh June Galerie
13/06/2017 — 29/07/2017

Solo Shows

Schaulager, Basel

Jim Kempner Fine Art, New York, 20 Years at 23rd & 10th

Copenhagen Contemporary, Copenhagen K, BRUCE NAUMAN

Bruce Nauman, Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden (Waldfrieden Sculpture Park), Wuppertal, Germany
Bruce Nauman, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris
Bruce Nauman, Friedrich Kiesler Stiftung, Vienna
Bruce Nauman: Selected Works from 1967-1990, Gagosian Gallery, Paris
Case Study, Body, space and time in Bruce Nauman, Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, Valencia, Spain


Bruce Nauman / mindfuck, Hauser & Worth, London
Bruce Nauman, Göteburgs Konstmuseum (Gothenburg Museum of Art), Göteborg
Bruce Nauman: Some Illusions – Drawings and Videos, Sperone Westwater, New York


Bruce Nauman: Infrared Outtakes, Soft Ground Etchings, and Crossbeams, Galeria La Caja Negra, Madrid
Bruce Nauman: Basements, Douglas F, Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Portland
Bruce Nauman: Inside the White Cube, White Cube, London
Bruce Nauman: Days, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
Bruce Nauman: One Hundred Fish Fountain, Gagosian Gallery, New York


Bruce Nauman: Der Wahre Künstler, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany
Bruce Nauman: Für Kinder / Beschriebene Kombinationen, Konrad Fischer Galerie Berlin, Berlin
Bruce Nauman: Combinations Described (Chicago), Donald Young Gallery, Chicago


Bruce Nauman: Dance or Exercise on the Perimeter of a Square, Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Bruce Nauman: Dream Passage, Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin
Bruce Nauman: Days, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Bruce Nauman: For Children/For Beginners, Sperone Westwater, New York
Bruce Nauman’s Works, Musée d’Art Contemporain Lyon, Lyon, France
Video Screening 2: Bruce Nauman, Center for Contemporary Art, Kitakyushu, Japan

Group Shows


Signs/Words, Sperone Westwater, New York
Self: Portraits of Artists in Their Absence, National Academy Museum, New York
Embracing Modernism: Ten Years of Drawings Acquisitions, The Morgan Library and Museum, New York
Accelerazione, Herbert Foundation, Ghent, Belgium
America is Hard to See, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Walking Sculpture 1967–2015, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, USA
Double Eye Poke: Lynda Benglis, Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, Bruce Nauman, Kamel Mennour, Paris
Future Present – Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation: Contemporary Art from Classic Modernism to the Present Day, Schaulager, Basel, Switzerland
2014 Reliable Tension, or: How to Win a Conversation about Jasper Johns, 32 Edgewood Avenue Gallery, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, USA
Interlaced: Selections for the CU Art Museum’s Video Collection, CU Art Museum, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
Play What’s Not There, Raven Row, London
Body & Void: Echoes of Moore in Contemporary Art, Henry Moore Foundation, Hertfordshire, UK
Room by Room: Monographic Presentations from the Faulconer and Rachofsky Collections, The Warehouse, Dallas
A Topography of Chance, Jessica Silverman Gallery/Fused Space, San Francisco
Ed Atkins, Bruce Nauman, Kunsthalle Mainz, Mainz, Germany
14 Rooms, Art Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Inside, Palais de Tokyo, Paris
Roll Up, Roll Up! An Anatomical Waxwork Cabinet Meets Art, Deutsches HygieneMuseum, Dresden, Germany


less like an object, more like the weather: Don’t blame anyone, CCS Bard Hessel Museum, Annendale-on-Hudson, USA
“Body Double: Jasper Johns / Bruce Nauman,” Craig F, Starr Gallery, New York
“The Causes of Things,” CENTRALE for Contemporary Art, Brussels
“When Attitudes Become Form,” Fondazione Prada, Venice
“Fail Better: Moving Images,” Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
“Prima Materia,” Punta della Dogana, Venice
“Body Pressure: Sculpture since the 1960s,” Nationalgalerie Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin
2012 Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avant-Garde in the 1970s, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
La La La Human Steps: A Selection from the Collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul
Sint-Jan, Saint-Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium
Something Along Those Lines, Barbara and Steven Grossman Gallery, School of the Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston
Cellblock II: An Essay in Exhibition Form, Andrea Rosen Gallery 2, New York
Artists Rooms Tour, Tate Modern, London
A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance, Tate Modern, London


Hockney, Kelly, Nauman, Rauschenberg, Ruscha, Serra, Galerie Lelong, New York
The Parallax View, Lehmann Maupin, New York
Videosphere: A New Generation, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
Out-Of-Sync: The Paradoxes of Time, Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg
David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
Goldmine, Contemporary Works from the Collection of Sirje and Michel Gold, University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach, USA
Investigations of a Dog, Works from the FACE collections, Konsthall, Stockholm
Topography/Typography, Brooke Alexander Editions, New York
The World Belongs to You, Punta Della Dogana, Francois Pinault Foundation, Venice
Videosphere: A New Generation, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, USA
Melodymania, RH Gallery, New York
Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-81, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Extended Drawing: Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, The Netherlands


Territories of Time, Meessen De Clercq, Brussels
Bilder in Bewengung, Künstler & Video/Film, Museum Ludwig, Köln, Germany
Off the Wall: Part 1 – Thirty Performative Actions, Whitney Museum of Art, New York
The 8th Gwangju Biennale 2010: Maninbo – 10000 Lives, Gwangju Biennale Hall, Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju Folk Museum, Gwangju, South Korea
You can’t get there from here but you can get here from there, Apexart, New York
Minima Moralia: Samuel Beckett, Matias Faldbakken, Glenn Ligon, Bruce Nauman, Marvelli Gallery, New York
Between Here and There: Passages in Contemporary Photography, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Exposed:Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera Since 1870, San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Art, Traveled to: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Contacts & Details

City of birth: Fort Wayne Country of birth: USA Date of birth: 1941 Lives in: Galisteo, New Mexico