Düsseldorf and Krefeld

Bruce Nauman

Galerie Fischer, Museum Haus Esters

In the gallery show in Düsseldorf Bruce Nauman showed a drawing for a neon project for an American university, and one segment of the piece, realized in stone. The piece concerns the seven vices and seven virtues, and in this portion hope and envy overlap. With another artist we might suspect nihilism here, but Nauman’s intent is not nihilistic. Instead, his approach has to do with the creative shake-up of unquestioned structures that occurs in the dealings of certain people with reality. It’s true that this coolly glimmering game with human values, its design borrowed from the world of advertising, addresses the viewer’s social consciousness more deliberately than Nauman’s usual, rather more mysterious work. But what is truly subversive here is not the intertwining of “good” and “evil,” but the seductiveness of the light sculptures’ design: moral consciousness dissolves into colorful

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