new-york

Bruce Nauman

Sperone Westwater

Janet Kraynak on Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman’s recent exhibition at Sperone Westwater was introduced by Untitled (Study for Slow Angle Walk [Beckett Walk]), 1968–69, a small, diagrammatic pencil drawing in which lines and arcs of various densities are interspersed with arrows, circles, and x’s. While modest, the work nonetheless succinctly embodies the conceptual conflict at the heart of the artist’s drawing production (and thus the exhibition as well): namely, what exactly are Nauman’s drawings? The answer may seem obvious; the majority of them are graphite, charcoal, or crayon works on paper. Yet moving among preparatory sketches, installation plans, instructions, studies, proposals for unrealized sculptures, and imaginative responses to existing works, this aspect of Nauman’s production is difficult to categorize, encompassing a broad range of functions that surpass conventional ideas of

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