basel

Bruce Nauman

Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart

In this exhibition, Bruce Nauman’s sculptures and installations from the past five years were viewed in the context of representative examples of his oeuvre from the museum’s permanent collection, dating back to the ’60s. Included is the 1967 spiral neon sign that reads, “The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths,” along with a dynamic neon piece Sex and Death by Murder and Suicide, 1985. At first glance, the two works might be regarded as opposites, but they actually demarcate the poles of Nauman’s oeuvre, which, in the course of its development, has become increasingly radical in its directness. Though Nauman’s noisy new video installations lead us into an utterly non-museumlike fun house, his primary goal is not amusement; the coexistence of the serious and the playful reveal elemental life situations that appeal to us directly and emotionally; the hubbub both arouses

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