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Blain|Southern: BRUCE NAUMAN | ED MOSES - 5 Oct 2016 to 12 Nov 2016

Current Exhibition

5 Oct 2016 to 12 Nov 2016

21 Dering Street
United Kingdom

Jack Fulton, Portrait of the Artist as Bruce Nauman V2 (detail),
© Jack Fulton / ARS, NY and DACS, London 2016

Artists in this exhibition: Bruce Nauman, Ed Moses

Bruce Nauman | Natural Light, Blue Light Room

5 October 2016 – 12 November 2016

Private View: 6 October 2016, 4 – 8pm

*The installation is best experienced during daylight hours

Blain|Southern presents Natural Light, Blue Light Room by Bruce Nauman, a significant architectural installation exhibited for the first time since its initial presentation in 1971. It is one of the earliest instances of the artist producing built environments to intentionally discomfit or disorientate the viewer

‘In the gallery, there were some skylights above one wall. I installed blue fluorescent lights below the sky lights. It messed up your ability to see the space clearly because when you got under them you started getting a lot of afterimages. Everything became a little jumpy... There was nothing else in the space. So the idea was that it would be hard to know what to focus on and even if you did, it would be hard to focus.’ - Bruce Nauman

While in many ways representative of the minimalist aesthetic of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Natural Light, Blue Light Room also reveals a specific set of ideas that concerned Nauman at the time. He devised Natural Light, Blue Light Room at a time when artists were attempting to reduce to the barest minimum what was necessary for an action, object or intervention to be declared an artwork. He had already started to explore how to change the emphasis from the production of an inert art object to an installation that would create a particular physical or psychological experience for the viewer. In order to fulfil this aim, he set aside the convention of representing light, temperature or space in a sculpture or image, and instead used these phenomena as the actual raw material or media of his work.

Walking into the gallery, viewers experience a physical response to the empty space and unfamiliar light. With time, they discern two different light sources – the natural daylight and blue fluorescent lights. This initial physical stimulus grows more confusing as the atmosphere in the room changes and resets itself with the shifting light outside. Meanwhile, the blue light remains wholly consistent, becoming a strangely tangible presence in the room, thus acting like an image or symbol, almost an object in itself, inviting the viewer to interpret their own reaction to the disorientating experience of the room.

Nauman describes the concept and effect of Natural Light, Blue Light Room as an experiment in ‘messing up’ the psychological and physiological state of the viewer. To this day he continues to investigate responses caused by presenting two sets of information simultaneously. As he describes it, he makes ‘art that was just there all at once. Like getting hit in the face with a baseball bat. Or better, like getting hit in the back of the neck. You never see it coming; it just knocks you down.'

We are grateful to Angela Westwater, Sperone Westwater Gallery, the artist, and Juliet Myers at the Bruce Nauman Studio for making this exhibition possible.


ED MOSES | ‘First, look at the paintings. Then we’ll shoot the shit.’

5 October 2016 – 12 November 2016

Private View: 6 October, 4 – 8pm

Blain|Southern presents an exhibition of paintings by LA artist Ed Moses, featuring a wide range of work all produced throughout the last decade. It will be the ninety-year-old artist's first UK solo exhibition in ten years.

Rising to prominence in the late 1950s alongside a group of artists associated with the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, Ed Moses is widely revered as one of the most innovative and influential painters of the American West Coast art scene. Deliberately eschewing artistic trends and movements throughout his career, he has avoided having a single signature style and to this day refuses categorisation.

Never working with preconceived ideas, experimentation and chance play an important role in the artist’s practice. Moses employs various tools and techniques, and during his process paint might be poured, dripped, dragged or wiped down the canvas. Moses is not looking to control the process but rather be in tune with it – decisions are instinctive rather than calculated as he connects with the material in a way that he refuses to fully describe or explain. He works on up to 20 paintings at a time outdoors at his Venice Beach studio, discarding many along the way. ‘When they light up,‘ he says, ‘I keep them. And if they don’t light up, I don’t want them.’

4 Hanover Square London W1S 1BP
20 April – 12 June 2016
Private View: 19 April 2016, 6 - 8pm
Monday to Friday: 10am - 6pm Saturday: 10am - 5pm
+44(0) 20 7493 4492 

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