Bruce Nauman

Untitled (Hand Circle) (1996)

About this artwork

In this work, Nauman has presented us with the basic tools used to make all sculpture: the hands. In the 1960s he made a number of wax casts of his body, all of which were given 'play on word' titles, such as 'hand to mouth', which is literally a cast of his body from hand to mouth. Yet the hands in this sculpture are left to speak for themselves, without a title. The gestures are open to interpretation; they could be sign language for the deaf or even mildly obscene.

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  • title: Untitled (Hand Circle)
  • accession number: AR00580
  • artist: Bruce NaumanAmerican (born 1941)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Sculpture
  • subject: Self-portrait
  • medium: Bronze
  • date created: 1996
  • measurements: 115.50 x 71.00 x 70.00 cm
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • copyright: © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2016.
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman is considered one of the most influential artists working today. He was born in Indiana and initially studied Maths and Physics in Wisconsin, then Art in California. In 1965 he abandoned purely painting in favour of working in a variety of media. His work combines bodily consciousness, physical and mental activity, linguistic manipulation and humour. In his early work, Nauman made wax casts of his body, moving on to make sculptural installations, photographs, films and performance pieces. Although Nauman's work has been associated with various movements, including performance, conceptual and body art, it always eludes precise categorisation. He represented America at the 2009 Venice Biennale.