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Bum fun at the Tate: Bruce Nauman’s new mini-retrospective is brilliant and rude

Eddy Frankel

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The Tate’s ‘artist rooms’ are year-long exhibits dedicated to single artists. They’ve just replaced the Louise Bourgeois show they’ve had up since last June in the Switch House or Blavatnik Building or whatever it’s called now with work by the brilliant, hilarious, shocking, stupid, raunchy, influential and, again, brilliant Bruce Nauman. If you know his work, that should get you totally excited, and if you don’t, get ready to have your tiny little mind blown, my friend, because Nauman is going to make you say ‘wow, man’ (because, you know, it sort of rhymes with Nauman. Give me a break, I’m tired).

Bruce Nauman VIOLINS VIOLENCE SILENCE 1981-2 ARTIST ROOMS, Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. Lent by Anthony d’Offay 2010 © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2017

They’ve re-installed his old Turbine Hall sound commission, for a start. But the real fun kicks in upstairs, in a mini-retrospective featuring work from the 1960s through to today. There’s the multi-screen video work ‘Violent Incident’, featuring a couple beating the sweet bejesus out of each other. There’s the ultra creepy ‘Good Boy Bad Boy’, the nifty ‘Violins Violence Silence’ neon, a bunch of paintings, some of his hand sculptures and then the one everyone wants to take their significant other to see: ‘Run from Fear, Fun from Rear’.

Nauman, as well as being actually quite funny, is a proper innovator who has influenced countless contemporary artists. This little mini-show is a perfect reminder of just how good he is.

Find more art to see by clicking here.

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