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The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths (Window or Wall Sign)
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The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths (Window or Wall Sign)

Bruce Nauman, American, born 1941

Geography:
Made in North and Central America

Date:
1967

Medium:
Neon

Dimensions:
59 × 55 × 2 inches (149.9 × 139.7 × 5.1 cm)

Copyright:
© Bruce Nauman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Curatorial Department:
Contemporary Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
2007-44-1

Credit Line:
Purchased with the generous support of The Annenberg Fund for Major Acquisitions, the Henry P. McIlhenny Fund, the bequest (by exchange) of Henrietta Meyers Miller, the gift (by exchange) of Philip L. Goodwin, and funds contributed by Edna Andrade, 2007

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language [x]   literary [x]   mass produced materials [x]   neon [x]   neon lights [x]   semiotic [x]   sign [x]   spiral [x]   statement [x]   text [x]  


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Label:
The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths (Window or Wall Sign), one of Nauman’s first neons, is a founding work in his career. Hijacking a medium generally associated with the tawdry (cheap motels, shop windows, and bars), Nauman's sign advertises a metaphysical and deeply personal message as if it were for sale. Throughout his long and illustrious career, Nauman has examined the role and responsibilities of the artist. The title statement of this poetic spiral is neither entirely facetious nor completely serious, and the contradictions embodied in the piece yield an ambiguity that is both playful and profound.