What are your favorite works by artist Bruce Nauman?

My next sculpture assignment is supposed to be influenced/inspired by Bruce Nauman’s work. I’ve found a variety of things about him online and he seems pretty out there (in a good way)…

So what are your favorites? I need help finding my inspiration.

Edit: I should clarify that when I say influenced by/inspired by that does not mean “in the style of” or anything remotely like that. The only physical requirements of the assignment are that it combines at least two forms of art (such as sculpture + photography or something like that). But she wants us to use his stuff as a place of inspiration.

Not a huge fan - at least of his stuff that uses words as the central vehicle for his statements. Unless he is going for a commentary on language and its limited usefulness to capture the full spectrum of meaning a person may intend (i.e., language has been optimized for certain kinds of communication - at the expense of other kinds of communication), I find inclusion of words in artwork to be a bit of an easy way out. Art to me is visual; including the need to engage cerebrally to read the language and incorporate the literal and intended meanings into the overall appreciation of the piece immediately inserts an extra steps I am typically not interested in - occasionally it will result in a clever “a-ha” but that’s about it…

Which aspects of his art - or his stated (or your perceived) intentions - would you be looking to reflect in your work?

None of them. As I said, we’re not supposed to be copying/reflecting/etc anything. We’re just supposed to use a basic understanding of his concerns and methods and such, and then do our own thing, having been exposed to him. My piece is going to be figurative, and so far the only things of his that have done anything for me in terms of relating to my own work is his self portrait as a fountain and the video piece where he covers himself in makeup. I doubt my piece will have any connection to any of his works at all, but I need to be able to discuss him/his stuff and explain what in his work did (or did not) influence me/make me think or whatever when doing my piece.

Basically what it comes down to is that I have to talk to the class for 10 minutes about this guy, and at the end of my talk I have to present my concept for my next piece. Mostly what I’m finding is neon signs with words on them and about all I would be able to say about that is “well, I doubt I’ll ever do anything even remotely like this, so, here’s my completely different idea for a piece” which isn’t really what the teacher wants. Heh.

So I was hoping that maybe somebody here had some favorite works of his that I could look at… perhaps something a bit more sculptural?