Bruce Nauman - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, October 24, 2023 | Phillips

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  • In a 2001 interview with the curator Joan Simon, in response to a question of whether he was considering working in the medium of neon again, Nauman explained the inception of Partial Truth:


    “No. The last one that almost came up was the piece I did, Partial Truth, when Konrad [the art dealer Konrad Fischer] was dying. It was the year that Susan [Rothenberg] and I had sublet a loft in New York. Konrad had heard about that. He called and said, ‘Bruce, I hear you’re moving to New York.’ I said. ‘No, well maybe partly. This is partly true.’ And he said, ‘This is a piece. We’ll make this piece.’ So I didn’t really think about it very much, but I did make a drawing. By the time I’d made a drawing, he’d already made plans to have it made in neon. Then he died before anything got done. I didn’t really want to do it in neon; it seemed appropriate to do it in stone. That was the last tiny thing that almost got done in neon.”


    Nauman specifically chose granite for Partial Truth to honor his friendship with Fischer. The choice of material and font in which the words are inscribed evoke those used for gravestones, imbuing the work with quiet pathos. While the use of granite and the scriptura monumentalis font speak of memorialization, the change of artistic direction that it signaled, from the glow of neon to the more antiquated format of a stone carving, highlights a shift in artistic practice. Moreover, the words “PARTIAL TRUTH” resist confirming completeness, implying that not all is what it seems. – Tate

    • Literature

      Gemini G.E.L. 1716


Partial Truth (G. 1716)

Hand-carved Black Absolute granite multiple.
18 x 24 x 2 1/4 in (45.7 x 61 x 5.7 cm)
Incised with initials and numbered 11/25 on the underside (there were also 9 artist's copies), published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles (with their and the artist's copyright incised on the underside).

Full Cataloguing

$15,000 - 25,000 

Sold for $24,130

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212 940 1220

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 24-26 October 2023