Bruce Nauman

Partial Truth (1997)

About this artwork

Nauman is perhaps best known for his neon signs, which employ a mixture of vibrant colour and wordplay. In contrast to these, his recent artworks often employ a more sombre style. Comprised of a black granite slab carved with the words ‘partial truth’, this sculpture appears rather like a memorial plaque, and is reminiscent of 1960s minimalist artworks. Nauman here inscribes an abstract concept on to a physical object, perhaps questioning the ability of art to reveal hidden truths. Situated within a gallery space, language nevertheless becomes a tangible entity that demands the interaction between viewer and object.

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  • title: Partial Truth
  • accession number: AR00575
  • artist: Bruce NaumanAmerican (born 1941)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Sculpture
  • date created: 1997
  • measurements: 6.00 x 60.70 x 55.00 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.