Untitled (Model for Trench Shaft and Tunnel)

Bruce Nauman

Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, 1941
  • Date: 
  • Material: 
    Fiberglass, polyester resin and plastic paint
  • Technique: 
    Cast and assemblage
  • Dimensions: 
    330 x 300 x 300 cm
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  • Entry date: 
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Untitled (Model for Trench, Shaft and Tunnel), which consists of three rings in green, yellow and pink, is one of the three examples from a 1978 series by Bruce Naumann made from ring moulds. The artist showed the three sculptures at the Konrad Fischer Gallery in Düsseldorf, in an exhibition he called Large Studies in Combination of Olive, Mustard and Pink Fiberglass and Polyester Resin in 4 Group and One Study in Cast Iron All at 1:50 Scale of Combination of Shafts, Trenches and Tunnels. It is an example of the early sculptural responses to the dominance of Minimalism: as opposed to seeing it as an object, the emphasis is rather on the piece as a process of work. The three rings are touching, creating a triangular structure, which is halfway between being suspended from the ceiling and resting on the floor, so the whole composition seems unstable and lacking a fixed, definite position in space. This condition of changeability in the sculpture is also a reference to the concept of the artist’s work, according to which the piece is a model that can be placed in the room in a variety of ways, depending on the aforementioned interest in the work process. The piece’s direct reference is to underground tunnels in cities, the huge dimensions of which also indicate emptiness and changeability, and which work as a symbol for the depths and intersections of the human psyche.

Carmen Fernández Aparicio