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Bruce Nauman

Green Horses

1988

Artist

Bruce Nauman (1941-)

Title

Green Horses

Date

1988

Medium

Video installation, color, 59:40 min., with two color video monitors, two DVD players, video projector, and chair

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchased jointly by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, with funds from the Directors Discretionary Fund and the Painting and Sculpture Committee; and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, with funds from the Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, by exchange Purchased jointly by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, with funds from the Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, by exchange; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, with funds from the Director's Discretionary Fund and the Painting and Sculpture Committee

Accession number

2007.130

Object Label

Working outside the parameters of traditional sculpture, Bruce Nauman challenges and compels the viewer to consider the ways in which a process or activity can alter, or even become, a work of art. Green Horses revisits Nauman’s early work of the 1960s, a period in which he began to work with film and video and often used himself as a subject. Here, his arrangement evokes an artist’s studio: a chair is placed facing a large projection screen, while two TV monitors are located on carts placed against an adjacent wall, perhaps in reference to Nauman’s editing process. All of the three screens play the same video of Nauman putting an unbroken horse through a series of paces, but the film is intermittently inverted, conveying the idea that the horse is at times riding the man. The empty chair, a common Nauman motif, serves as a surrogate for the artist himself. Void of Nauman’s physical presence, it invites the viewer to take his place, granting temporary insight into the artist’s gaze and creative process.

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