Bruce Nauman: Journal

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“There is a tendency to clutter things up, to try to make sure people know something is art, when all that’s necessary is to present it, to leave it alone. I think the hardest thing to do is to present an idea in the most straightforward way.” —Bruce Nauman, Art in America, 1988

Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to present Journal (2022), a limited-edition digital artwork by Bruce Nauman. In this work, Nauman continues his investigations into temporality and preservation through technology by examining a historical text rendered in 3D. Since the 1960s, Nauman has questioned and expanded the boundaries of what is considered art through the integration of holograms, video, neon and digital renderings within his works.

This editioned presentation revisits Nauman’s history with Marian Goodman Gallery, which began with the portfolio Artists and Photographs (1970). The portfolio, conceived for Multiples, Inc., a pioneering art publishing company founded by Marian Goodman and partners in the 1960s, which helped produce over 80 objects and over 800 prints in collaboration with more than 90 artists. Artists and Photographs, a collaboration with 18 artists, redefined the very nature of photography as an art form and is considered an artistic landmark. As part of his contribution for Artists and Photographs, Nauman created LAAIR, a 12-page book of color photographs examining atmospheric pollution in Los Angeles. In 1974, Nauman produced Tone Mirror, a lithograph for the portfolio Mirrors of the Mind, published by Multiples and Castelli Graphics.

For the new project Journal Nauman devised a volumetric 3D model of the book, “The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.” Written by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, the journals chronicle the period between April 7 and July 27, 1805. In the journal entry selected, Meriwether Lewis provides a detailed account of the arduous process required to make buffalo sausage, known as boudin blanc, begun by Toussaint Charbonneau, a French-Canadian trader.

The artist first read the book while working on his 2001 work Mapping the Studio I (Fat Chance John Cage), in which he used a video camera with infrared capability to record his studio at night. While designing Nature Morte (2020) a digital rendering of his studio activated by an iPad touchscreen, Nauman returned to the explorers’ logs, and converted a selected passage of the book into a 3D model to create Journal.

The iPad is placed in a custom hand-bound presentation box made by bookbinder Charlene Matthews, with input from the artist. The work is signed, numbered and dated, and sold as an edition of 15 with 2 artist’s proofs.

Bruce Nauman has had numerous major retrospectives and solo exhibitions over the past fifty years, and he has received the...
Photo by Zoe Nauman
Bruce Nauman has had numerous major retrospectives and solo exhibitions over the past fifty years, and he has received the Venice Biennale Golden Lion for both Lifetime Achievement (1999) and Best National Participation (2009). Nauman is widely regarded as among the most important  living American artists. His work laid the foundations for new uses of language and the body in conceptual and performance art around the world. He has pushed the boundaries of audio-visual media throughout his career, from his early film, video, and holograms in the 1960s to his latest innovative work with 3D video and 3D scanning and modeling technologies.

With special thanks to Bruce Nauman and his entire studio team, especially Bruce Hamilton and Susanna Carlisle, and at Marian Goodman Gallery to Dagny Corcoran, Philipp Kaiser, Marine Pariente and Samantha Gregg.

Published by Marian Goodman Gallery © 2022
Artwork © Bruce Nauman

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