Bruce Nauman

decade

1940s

1941

Bruce Nauman is born in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

decade

1960s

1964

Bruce Nauman receives his BFA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

1964

Bruce Nauman marries fellow student Judy Govan.

1965

Bruce Nauman enrolls in the relatively new art department at the University of California, Davis. William T. Wiley becomes an important teacher and eventually friend of Nauman’s.

1965

William T. Wiley takes Bruce Nauman to the Mount Carmel Salvage Shop and shows Nauman the slant step. Nauman asks Wiley to buy it, and it lives in Nauman’s studio for a long time.

1965

Nicholas Wilder Gallery opens on La Cienega Boulevard and shows work by Joe Goode and Bruce Nauman.

1966

Bruce Nauman, Mold for a Modernized Slant Step,1966. Plaster; installed: 18 ¼ × 14 ½ × 13 3/8 in. (46.4 × 36.8 × 34 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Gerald S. Elliott Collection, 1995.70.a–b. © 2018 Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Bruce Nauman, Self-Portrait as a Fountain (from the portfolio Eleven Color Photographs), 1966–67/1970/2007. Ink-jet print exhibition copy (originally chromogenic development print); image: 19 7/8 × 23 ¾ in. (50.9 × 60.3 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Gerald S. Elliott Collection, 1994.11.k. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

1966

Bruce Nauman and William T. Wiley participate in the first Slant Step Show at the Berkeley Art Gallery, which includes the original slant step object. According to legend, the step was stolen by Richard Serra and taken to New York.

1966

Nicholas Wilder and Joe Goode drive north to visit Bruce Nauman in his studio and, as a result, Nauman has his first solo show in May at the Nicholas Wilder Gallery along La Cienega Boulevard. Nauman’s Mold for a Modernized Slant Step is included in this exhibition.

1966

Bruce Nauman receives his MFA from UC Davis.

late 1960s 1966

As their professor–student relationship evolves into a friendship, Bruce Nauman and William T. Wiley play music together around Davis in bands called the Moving Van Walters and His Truck and then Blue Crumb Truck. Nauman plays guitar and bass.

1967

Allen Ruppersberg participates in his first group exhibition, New Directions, at the Westside Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles. The show also includes Bruce Nauman and Ed Ruscha.

1967

Bruce Nauman and William T. Wiley’s band Blue Crumb Truck plays at the opening of Funk at the University Art Gallery in Berkeley.

1967

The Nauman family moves into William T. Wiley’s house and studio in Mill Valley (north of San Francisco) for the summer while Wiley traveled through Europe.

1968

Bruce Nauman has a solo exhibition at Sacramento State College Art Gallery.

1960s 1969

Judy Chicago lives in Pasadena, California, around the corner from Bruce Nauman’s studio.

1969

Stephen Kaltenbach, Bruce Nauman, and William T. Wiley contribute to Phil Weidman’s Slant Step Book.

decade

1970s

1970

Bruce Nauman has a solo exhibition at Nicholas Wilder Gallery.

1970

Bruce Nauman becomes a professor at the University of California, Irvine.

1972

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art organizes the traveling exhibition Bruce Nauman: Work from 1965 to 1972, which travels to the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1974.

1973

Bruce Nauman has a solo exhibition at Nicholas Wilder Gallery titled Flayed Earth/Flayed Self (Skin/Sink).

1977

Nicholas Wilder Gallery hosts the traveling exhibition The Consummate Mask of Rock, a solo exhibition of Bruce Nauman's work.

decade

1980s

1981

Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Joe Goode, Bruce Nauman, and Ed Ruscha are included in the group exhibition Art in Los Angeles: Seventeen Artists in the Sixties at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

1986–88 1986

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley, host the traveling exhibition Bruce Nauman: Drawings/Zeichnungen, 1965–1986.

1988

Bruce Nauman has a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, titled Bruce Nauman: Video, 1965–1986.

decade

1990s

1993

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, hosts the traveling exhibition Bruce Nauman (Retrospective.

1995

Bruce Nauman has a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago titled Bruce Nauman: Elliott's Stones.

1995

Sterling Ruby sees the Bruce Nauman retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and considers it a formative experience for his own art.

decade

2000s

2000s 2000

Sterling Ruby works at the Video Data Bank, an organization cofounded by SAIC. In Ruby’s words: “I wasn’t exposed to a lot of video art until I started my employment as a secretary at the Video Data Bank. Prior to Chicago, I studied at a four-year foundation program in Pennsylvania where I did figure and still life drawing for eight hours a day. Needless to say, there was no video art in the curriculum. After being promoted from the VDB front desk, I learned how to edit and wound up dubbing endurance-based performance art for eight hours a day. I was holding the [Vito] Acconci, [Lynda] Benglis, and [Bruce] Nauman master tapes and it was a nice opportunity to learn the history of video art in parallel to watching the history of performance art.”

2004

Larry Bell, Judy Chicago, Douglas Huebler, and Bruce Nauman are included in the group exhibition A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958–1968 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

2007

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, organizes the traveling exhibition A Rose Has No Teeth: Bruce Nauman in the 1960s.

decade

2010s

2011

Jim Nutt has a solo exhibition at MCA Chicago titled Jim Nutt: Coming Into Character. It is accompanied by Seeing Is a Kind of Thinking: A Jim Nutt Companion, which included works by Nutt, Aaron Curry, Mike Kelley, Bruce Nauman, Gladys Nilsson, and Karl Wirsum.

2011

Joe Goode, Stephen Kaltenbach, Mike Kelley, Tom Marioni, Bruce Nauman, Senga Nengudi, Allen Ruppersberg, and Ed Ruscha are included in the group exhibition Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974–1981 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

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