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Lot 519: Bruce Nauman , A Rose Has No Teeth

Contemporary Art Day Sale

by Sotheby's

May 16, 2007

New York, NY, USA

Bruce Nauman (1941) Please Register/Login to access your Invaluable Alerts

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Description: titled cast polyester resin

Notes: Executed in 1966, the present work is one of four cast in resin from the same mould as the unique lead version of the same year.

"'A newborn child has no teeth'. 'A goose has no teeth'. 'A rose has no teeth'. This last at any rate, one would like to say, is obviously true! It is even surer than that a goose has none. And yet it is none so clear. For where should a rose's teeth have been? The goose has none in its jaw. And neither, of course, has it any in its wings; but no one means that when he says it has no teeth. Why, suppose one were to say: 'the cow chews its food and then dungs the rose with it, so the rose has teeth in the mouth of a beast.' This would not be absurd, because one has no notion in advance where to look for teeth in a rose." Ludwig Wittgenstein (G.E.M. Anscombe, trans., Ludwig Wittgenstein: Philosophical Investigations, New York, 1958, p. 221e)

Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist
Thence by descent to the present owner

Dimensions: 7 1/2 by 7 1/8 by 1/4 in. 19.1 by 17.9 by .6 cm.


Brussels, Palais des Beaux Arts, American Art in Belgium , 1977, no. 100, p. 152 (another example exhibited)

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