Lot 4: Bruce Nauman , b. 1941 Julie Head/Julie Head wax on wood base

Sotheby's

May 14, 2008, 12:00 PM EST
New York, NY, US
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Description: incised with signature and dated 1990 wax on wood base
Dimensions: 12 1/4 x 19 x 11 1/2 in. 31.1 x 48.3 x 29.2 cm.
Exhibited: Basel, Museum für Gegenwartskunst; Frankfurt am Main, Städtische Galerie, Städelsches Kunstinstitut; Lausanne, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Bruce Nauman: Skulpturen and Installationen 1985 - 1990, September 1990 - January 1992, cat. no. 27, pl. 18, illustrated
Literature: Ludmilla Vachtova, "Bruce Nauman: der Körper als Kunststück," Kunstforum International, (Germany) 119, Sping 1992, p. 142
Neal Benezra, et. al., Bruce Nauman: Catalogue Raisonné, Minneapolis, 1994, cat. no. 450, p. 325, illustrated
Provenance: Leo Castelli Gallery, New York (LC# 285-A)
Gerald S. Elliott, Chicago (acquired from the above)
Vivian Horan Fine Art, New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above in 1993
Notes: Executed in 1990, this sculpture was made to replace a 1989 work owned by Gerald Elliott that had been damaged and subsequently destroyed.
In 1988, Nauman returned to working with cast objects which he had originally pursued in the late 1960s, focusing on abstract spaces and human appendages such as knees and hands. Working now with the human head and animal taxidermy forms as Duchampian ready-made objects, Nauman exhibited his inexhaustive range for manipulation by combining and re-combining his disparate elements in intimate pairs as well as large installations.

This work belongs to Nauman's series of hollow, cast-wax sculptures of heads based on three models: Andrew Peters, Rinde Eckert, and the artist's assistant Julie (Juliet) Myers. Nauman used various combinations of colors, positions and pairings throughout the series. Four sculptures are pairs of heads hung separately, while the nine sculptures of the current series were paired heads on bases, attached to each other in various configurations. Only one sculpture included all three heads. As in the case of Julie Head/Julie Head, the casting process is evidenced by the tubes or nose plugs that remain in the finished work and act as the bridge between the two heads. By 1990, Nauman suspended large numbers of paired heads in mid-air compositions similar to his major installations of rotating chairs and taxidermy animals.
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