Bruce Nauman

Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg

How does one become a monochrome? The four Art Make-Up films, made between 1967 and ’68, answer that question and show their maker, Bruce Nauman, to be not only painter but painted. This work, in which the artist covers his body in white, pink, green, and black, stirs up from the spectator’s musings an assortment of memories: Noh theater, Al Jolson, the pink and blue bodies of Pontormo’s famous Entombment, even Rodchenko. Faithful to the logic of the monochrome, it is silent, a silence rendered all the more enigmatic by an exhibition subtitled “Image/Text 1966–1996,” and largely (if you take curator Christine van Assche’s word for it) devoted to the role Nauman accords language, music, sound, and words. Including none of the artist’s cast sculptures or taxidermic carousels and smaller than the show co-organized by the Walker and the Hirshhorn that traveled to the Museum of Modern Art two

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