Wolf Prize Laureate in Arts 1993
“for distinguished work as a sculptor and his extraordinary contribution to twentieth century art”.
This award is made to this American artist in recognition of the range and quality of his art evident in his work as a sculptor of great originality, imagination, wit, and moral power.
Starting with his ground-breaking sculptural installations of the late 1960s and continuing up to his current work, Nauman has been an audacious artist, exploring complex human emotional and psychological states while examining the very premises of art-making itself. Using media as varied as paper, steel, cast bronze, industrial machine elements, video, film, neon signage, holography, and standard photography, Nauman has never settled into the false comfort of signature style or a standard working methodology. His consistent investigation of language and ideas has always meshed with his unorthodox relation to materials and a strong sense of humor. While Nauman seriously examines issues of art´s ontological structures, his art has always retained its distinct power as an immediate experience.
Clearly acknowledged as one of the leading sculptors of his generation, he remains uniquely important to younger artists, and unaffected by his centrality. Even though his vocabulary is now firmly established, his new work remains as fresh and undaunted as the first works which brought him to the attention of American and European artists, collectors, curators and critics in the 1960s.
Bruce Nauman is clearly one of the great artists of this century.