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    Sale 2169

    Post War and Contemporary Art Afternoon Session

    14 May 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 316

    Bruce Nauman (b. 1941)

    Setting a Good Corner (Allegory & Metaphor)

    Price Realised  


    Bruce Nauman (b. 1941)
    Setting a Good Corner (Allegory & Metaphor)
    signed and numbered 'B Nauman 12/40' (on the CD)
    DVD format, Running time: 59:30 minutes
    Executed in 1999. This work is number twelve from an edition of forty.

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    In 1966, Bruce Nauman contemplated what it was an artist was supposed to do:
    "If I was an artist and I was in the studio, then whatever I was doing in the studio must be art." Nauman believed art was less about the product and more about the process and used his behavior and activities in the studio as the starting point for a series of films and videos made from 1967-69. He recorded himself performing simple, repetitive activities, each responding to a specific problem in a physically and mentally demanding hour-long time frame.

    Over thirty-years later, Setting a Good Corner (Allegory & Metaphor) celebrates Bruce Nauman's fascination and investigation in menial labor involved in the most banal of activities. Set in the artist's much beloved Las Madres Ranch, Nauman works tediously yet consistently to build a corner from which to stretch a fence and hang a gate. As we watch and hear the sounds of the tractor and the chainsaw, we are filled with an intensifying anxiety and silent dread. No longer is Nauman the isolated artist in his studio. What harm could he inflict upon himself and others? These questions and Nauman's quest both become metaphors for the rituals and struggles of human existence.


    Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York


    "Richard Prince on Bruce Nauman," Frieze, October 2004, p. 136 (illustrated).


    New York, Sperone Westwater Gallery, Bruce Nauman: Setting a Good Corner (Allegory & Metaphor), May 2000 (another example exhibited).
    New York, DIA Center for the Arts, Rodney Graham and Bruce Nauman: The Nearest Faraway Place, May 2000-June 2001 (another example exhibited).
    Paris, Galerie Daniel Templon, Bruce Nauman: Setting a Good Corner, April-May 2002 (another example exhibited).
    Karlsruhe, Center for Art and Media (ZKM), From Zero to 2002: New Presentation of Contemporary Art from the Collections Siegfried Weishaupl, Froehlich, Fer and Grasslin, September 2002-January 2003 (another example exhibited).
    Memphis, Power House, Bruce Nauman: Setting a Good Corner (Allegory & Metaphor), March-May 2004 (another example exhibited).
    CAPC, Museée d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, Á Angles Vifs, June 2004, p. 42 (illustrated, another example exhibited).
    Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Bruce Nauman, Videos from the Collection of Barbara Balkin Cottle, September 2005-June 2006.
    Hamburg, Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Au Del des Images (Beyond Images) works from the Fond National d'Art Contemporian, France, May-June 2006 (another example exhibited).
    Tate Liverpool, Bruce Nauman Make Me Think Me, May-August 2006, cover and p. 85 (illustrated, another example exhibited).
    Jerusalem, Art Focus 5, Can Art Do More?, September-October 2008, p. 32 (illustrated).