PRINT January 2018


“Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts”

Curated by Kathy Halbreich with Heidi Naef, Isabel Friedli, Magnus Schaefer, Taylor Walsh

Twenty-five years have passed since the last Nauman retrospective traversed the Western world like a rock icon on a months-long tour. This time around, the two organizing hosts—the Schaulager in Basel and the Museum of Modern Art in New York—will give a new generation the chance to see more than a half century of overwhelmingly influential work in nearly every conceivable medium. Former MoMA associate director Kathy Halbreich, who co-organized the 1993–95 caravan, leads the curatorial team in the 2018 effort, while the ambitious catalogue features contributions by no fewer than eighteen authors. In her introduction, Halbreich reports how a persistent theme of disappearance recently came to her as a way of synthesizing an oeuvre so formally, technically, and thematically disparate. A device by no means unknown to such California contemporaries as Bas Jan Ader, Chris Burden, and Allen Ruppersberg, the play of presence and absence should provide viewers, both new and veteran, with a welcome key to Nauman’s work, its consistency disguised within a brilliant accumulation of difference. Travels to MoMA and MoMA PS1, New York, October 2018–March 2019.