The True Artist Is an Amazing Luminous Fountain (Window or Wall Shade) is the first major piece in which Bruce Nauman worked with the medium of text. Like a confession, it proclaims the influential artist’s early interest in language and meaning – in making statements that are all the more challenging because their substance cannot immediately be deciphered. Nauman bought a standard multi-stop roller blind measuring 8 feet long and 6 feet wide and consisting of three horizontally-joined sheets of pink-coated Mylar, that he made the support for a cryptic statement about the nature of the artist: around its edges he wrote, in an attractive serif font, the sentence THE TRUE ARTIST IS AN AMAZING LUMINOUS FOUNTAIN.
What the young Nauman first put forward as a hypothesis on a window blind in 1966, he himself subsequently confirmed. In the first volume of our new series of publications Being an Artist: Bruce Nauman, Christel Sauer approaches the artist and his work through descriptions and classifications of benchmark individual works. Her texts each depart from a major work and open up, from different standpoints, access to the artist, his thinking and his way of working. Each essay offers a key to the understanding of a specific theme and can be read independently of the other texts. Together the chapters provide an in-depth insight into the complexity and scope that distinguish the oeuvre of this ground-breaking artist.
The informatively illustrated publication will be published in German and English in Spring 2018. Subscribe to our e-mail-news to get immediately notified!
Since the 1960ies Jannis Kounellis has created artworks that stand out for their strong physical and emotional force. They consist of materials of everyday life and even incorporate life itself: fragments of the real world, like animals, plants, coal or hair are included into “scenic” situations of unmatched poetry and vibrancy. By overcoming the gap between art and reality, Kounellis has had a lasting influence on the development of art – much beyond the concept of Arte Povera.
Three major works in this development are now the subject of distinctive monographs of Raussmüller Collection. With enlightening texts by Christel Sauer and informative large-scale images the booklets give access to a leading artist of our time and his groundbreaking three-dimensional “images”.
Find out more about the publications in our bookshop.
In 1983, Urs Raussmüller and Robert Ryman installed 50 paintings of the latter in the Hallen für Neue Kunst in Schaffhausen in what would be the first of three consecutive installations of the artist (these turned out to set the standard for the presentation and perception of Ryman works: further reading). In 1991 Raussmüller asked his friend to create new works and present them parallel to the existing installation in a special exhibition. Motivated by the challenge to compete with his own works, Ryman created a series of 16 paintings between 1991 and 92 that did not match anything else he made before: the “Versions”. The openness of the painting and its specific interaction with light and space made them unique in Ryman’s Oeuvre.
In the Versions, Robert Ryman used all parts of the painting to create something whole that directly approaches the viewers. All elements of the painting are consciously joined to one aesthetic impression: The structured support made of very thin fiberglass, slightly primed by Ryman; the overlayed grid of fine pencil lines, the remarkably lively but still open application of oil paint, the dating or signature. Even the mostly white painted nails fixing the painting to the wall are not hammered in fully in order to leave a dark shadow on the painting surface as another compositorial element.
On the top edge Ryman attached a strip of wax paper, which expands the fiberglass upwards and is casually stapled to the wall. The soft reflections of the wax paper extend even more the wide range of light absorption and reflection on the painting surface and gives the works a movement towards the spectator.
The catalogue to the exhibition in Schaffhausen with a text by Christel Raussmüller and a talk with Robert Ryman and Urs Raussmüller as well as illustrations of the Versions can be found in our bookshop.
“Paintings, like paths in a maze, move not necessarily forward but furnish space for you to follow out thoughts and thoughts suggested by thoughts, sometimes leading to dead ends, other times opening out, and again at other times doubling back, bringing you again into familiar territory. Intervening time, however, has changed things, and the experience becomes something new.” (Robert Mangold, Studio Notes)
Robert Mangold’s outstanding painting Light Ellipse / Grey Frame from 1989 is the embodiment of this creative stand and continues to fascinate and inspire. In his works, the artist combines all elements of painting like outline shapes and internal forms, surfaces and lines, colour tones and structures, to one holistic work of unique quality. Thus driven from new experiences, we will continue to walk off the beaten track in the coming year. We hope you too, could set the course for a good future and look forward to a productive and inspiring new year!
The Studio Notes by Robert Mangold together with more stunning illustrations of his paintings are published in our Mangold catalogue. For more illustrations and information on Light Ellipse / Grey Frame consider ordering our monograph Three Works by Robert Mangold.
On August 27 the new issue of Kunstmagazin BLAU will be published with a contribution on Robert Ryman. Urs Raussmüller comments on Ryman’s work in an interview montage by Max Dax. The article contains illustrations of works from the Raussmüller Collection.
BLAU is distributed along with the daily Die Welt and is available at newsagents.