Opening Reception: Friday, July 31, 2009, 5:00-7:00 pm
James Kelly Contemporary is pleased to announce an exhibition of the prints and multiples of Bruce Nauman. The exhibition will consist of graphic works made throughout the artists career, with works from the 70s up to the most recent series of prints. Also on view will be Naumans video etting a Good Corner, and several of his sculptural multiples. This will be his first solo exhibition with the gallery.
Nauman, who is one of the most influential and innovative artists of his generation, has always had an interest in prints and produced over 100 different works during the past forty years. The exhibition will feature works from three distinct themes that Nauman has repeatedly explored including, language & text, animal forms, and the human body. The exhibition will feature several of the most iconic word based prints such as Violins/Violence, Raw-War, Malice, NO, and Partial Truth.
In the text works Nauman investigates language by taking every day words out of their normal context and forces the viewer to re-think their preconceived notions of meaning that they traditionally assign to the word or phrase being displayed. By doing so the viewer becomes part of the piece as they attempt to reconcile their own feelings about the works and what Nauman is questioning. He accomplishes this by using palindromes, works that sound very similar, and writing the same word in a readable manner and repeating it backwards in the same image.
The prints featuring images of the human body are another type of exploration, one where the artists own body functions as the work of art. In these pieces Nauman has manipulated and contorted his face and made soft ground etchings based on a similar photographic series he completed in 1970 titled Studies for Holograms. In the Soft Ground Etchings series the images depict the artist contorting and smashing his face and making prints with brightly colored backgrounds. Nauman is depicted with his lips pulled apart horizontally, smashed together, pushed up on one side and pulled down on the other, his two hands with his fingers intertwined, and pulling his neck skin away from his face. Along with the recent soft ground etchings, is a series of prints based on shapes and interactions that can be produced by putting your fingers together in various combinations that was based on a similar sculpture instillation titled Fifteen Pairs of Hands from 1996.
Nauman whose installation Topological Gardens is the official U.S. entrant in the 53rd international Venice Biennale, and the winner of the Golden Lion for best National Participation. His works, including examples of the prints in this exhibition, are included in many of the most prestigious museums across the world. Including The Museum of Modern Art, NY; The Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Art Institute of Chicago; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Reina Sofia National Museum, Madrid, Spain; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany; Tate Modern, London, UK; etc. The opening for the exhibition will take place on Friday July 31st from 5-7 p.m.