fb pixcode

The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Hardcover, 9 x 10.5 in. / 356 pgs / 250 color.

Pub Date

D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2018 p. 3   

ISBN 9781633450318 TRADE
List Price: $75.00 CDN $99.00

Out of stock



Basel, Switzerland
Schaulager, 03/16/18–08/26/18

New York
The Museum of Modern Art, 10/21/18–03/17/19

New York
MoMA PS1, 10/21/18–03/24/19

New York
The Museum of Modern Art, 10/21/18–03/17/19

New York
MoMA PS1, 10/21/18–03/24/19


Artbook | D.A.P. Catalog Cover Link
Preview our Spring 2024 catalog, featuring more than 500 new books on art, photography, design, architecture, film, music and visual culture.


Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts

Edited by Kathy Halbreich, Isabel Friedli, Heidi Naef, Magnus Schaefer, Taylor Walsh. Text by Thomas Beard, Briony Fer, Nicolás Guagnini, Kathy Halbreich, Rachel Harrison, Ute Holl, Suzanne Hudson, Julia Keller, Liz Kotz, Ralph Lemon, Glenn Ligon, Catherine Lord, Roxana Marcoci, Magnus Schaefer, Felicity Scott, Martina Venanzoni, Taylor Walsh, Jeffrey Weiss.

Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts

With a magician’s sleight of hand, Nauman’s art makes disappearance visible

At 76 years old, Bruce Nauman is widely acknowledged as a central figure in contemporary art whose stringent questioning of values such as good and bad remains urgent today. Throughout his 50-year career, he has explored how mutable experiences of time, space, sound, movement and language provide an insecure foundation for our understanding of our place in the world.

This richly illustrated catalog offers a comprehensive view of Nauman’s work in all mediums, spanning drawings across the decades; early fiberglass sculptures; sound environments; architecturally scaled, participatory constructions; rhythmically blinking neons; and the most recent 3D video that harks back to one of his earliest performances. A wide range of authors—curators, artists and historians of art, architecture and film—focus on topics that have been largely neglected, such as the architectural models that posit real or imaginary sites as models for ethical inquiry and mechanisms of control. An introductory essay explores Nauman’s many acts of disappearance, withdrawal and deflection as central formal and intellectual concerns. The 18 other contributions discuss individual objects or themes that persist throughout the artist’s career, including the first extensive essay on Nauman as a photographer and the first detailed treatment on the role of color in his work. A narrative exhibition history traces his reception, and features a number of rare or previously unpublished images.

Bruce Nauman was born in Indiana in 1941 and raised near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He studied math, music and physics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison before switching his major to visual art, and received an MA in sculpture from the University of California, Davis, in 1966. In 1979 he moved to New Mexico, where he continues to reside. Nauman’s work has been the subject of two previous retrospectives, in 1972 and 1994. In 2009 he represented the United States at the Venice Biennale, where he won the Golden Lion.

Thomas Beard is Co-Founder of Light Industry, a venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn and Programmer at Large for the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Briony Fer is Professor of the History of Art at University College London and a Fellow of the British Academy.

Isabel Friedli is Curator and Head of Publications at the Schaulager, Basel.

Nicolás Guagnini is a New York-based artist.

Kathy Halbreich is the Laurenz Foundation Curator and former Associate Director at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Rachel Harrison is an artist who lives and works in Brooklyn.

Ute Holl is Professor of Media Studies at the University of Basel. Her research focuses on the nexus of cinema, perception, and knowledge.

Suzanne Hudson is Associate Professor of Art History and Fine Arts at the University of Southern California.

Julia Keller is Curatorial Assistant at Schaulager Basel.

Liz Kotz is an Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Art at University of California, Riverside.

Ralph Lemon is a choreographer, writer and visual artist based in New York. His recent exhibitions include Bibelots, at Bortolami, New York in 2017, and Union Gaucha Productions (with Karin Schneider) at Artists Space, New York.

Glenn Ligon is an artist based in New York. A mid-career retrospective of his work was organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2011.

Catherine Lord is a writer, artist, curator and Professor Emerita of Art at the University of California, Irvine.

Roxana Marcoci is Senior Curator in the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Magnus Schaefer is Assistant Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Felicity Scott is Associate Professor of Architecture and Co-director of the Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture program at Columbia University.

Martina Venanzoni is a member of the research and editorial team at Schaulager Basel.

Taylor Walsh is Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Jeffrey Weiss is Senior Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, where he codirected the Panza Collection Initiative.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts.'


The Art Newspaper

Kenneth Baker

a five-decade survey that appraises the magnitude of his improbable accomplishment and influence.

Cool Hunting

David Graver

Nauman's extraordinary catalogue … features artworks both iconic and obscure, large-scale and intangible…. everything one needs to understand Nauman's complex vision.

The New York Times

Farah Nayeri

The most influential American artist of this generation.


Ken Okiishi

A master class in producing art, and in curating an exhibition, that confounds the impulse to make coherent statements about it. The more you try to explain its force, the more elusive its power becomes.

T Magazine

Nikil Saval

... he makes us participants in art that is hectoring, aggressive, buttonholing and violent, and fills us with a sense of complicity... when trapped in the mind of Bruce Nauman, there is no escape.

Wall Street Journal

Richard B. Woodward

Corralling a Lifetime of Creativity: Bruce Nauman has mixed sculpture, performance, drawing, photography, film, video and installation throughout his career; now, MoMA tries to find its through-line.


Amassed from international institutions and collectors, and touch on ideas wrought in every imaginable medium over the course of the artist’s 50-year career.


Deborah Solomon

If anything unites his disparate efforts in sculpture, drawing, photography, and video, surely it is his often-comic bleakness.

The New York Times

Holland Cotter

Nauman has done much to change the way we define what art is, and what is art.

Art in America

In videos, sculptures, and installations, Nauman has persistently used linguistic play and spatial manipulation to probe the fears and desires that underlie perception.

The New Yorker

Peter Schjeldahl

[Nauman's work] forms a discontinuous parade of creative brainstorms and engulfing installations, resulting in an ethical adventure as much as an aesthetic one.

The New York Times

Holland Cotter

Nauman has changed the way we define what art is and what is art, and made work prescient of the morally wrenching American moment we're in. He deserves to be seen in full.

New Yorker

Peter Schjeldahl

An adventure that is as much ethical as it is aesthetic.

New Yorker

Peter Schjeldahl

A discontinuous parade of creative brainstorms that tend toward engulfing installations of sculpture, film, video, neon, and sound, any of which might anchor the whole career of a less restive artist.

New York Times

Jason Farago

This two-part, all-media retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 offers a master class in the limits of the body, the limits of language and the artistic desire to push beyond them.

Art in America

Dore Bowen

By refusing to prettify the nature of human existence, and by interrogating the way people act when alone, with each other, and in uncomfortable scenarios, Nauman might inadvertently provide hope for those seeking a way to understand our current situation.

Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts

STATUS: Out of stock

Temporarily out of stock pending additional inventory.



Bruce Nauman and lies, catching and being caught

Bruce Nauman and lies, catching and being caught

"I was interested in the idea of lying, or not telling the truth," Bruce Nauman is quoted in Disappearing Acts, the catalogue to MoMA’s exceptional current Nauman retrospective. Essayist Jeffrey Weiss traces the etymology of the word "deceive," concluding that "‘the idea of lying’—that is, the concept of deception in Nauman’s work—is partly intrinsic to the work’s realization as object or device. Put differently, Nauman’s sculptural objects possess forms predetermined by functions; in turn, their implementation can be assigned to various types of taking—to holding and withholding, to containment and detainment. Language associates these actions with the state of having been defrauded, deluded or misled. The act of lying is figured by the physical action of catching or having caught." Featured image is Light Trap for Henry Moore, No. 1 (1967). continue to blog



Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts opens at MoMA this weekend!

Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts opens at MoMA this weekend!

“I am aware how foolhardy it is to try to prove anything about [Bruce] Nauman’s work, since his pursuit of truth crisscrosses, even depends upon deception, his abiding commitment to deception,” Kathy Halbreich writes in Disappearing Acts, the catalogue to the major Nauman retrospective opening this weekend at MoMA and MoMA PS1. “Perhaps the true artist, as defined by Nauman, is at least a partial illusionist. He uses lies forthrightly to introduce an unsettling elusiveness, leaving things open to multiple, often conflicted understandings. Freedom, he teaches us, can originate from uncertainty, as it mitigates against orthodoxy. Nauman’s act may be construed as a gentle way to expose us, in an ultimately unthreatening manner, to a not so gentle reality. Maybe that’s what true art does.” Featured image is Punch and Judy Birth & Life & Sex & Death (1985). continue to blog



Bruce Nauman, all thumbs

Bruce Nauman, all thumbs

The hand is a conspicuous motif in Bruce Nauman's oeuvre, Julia Keller writes in Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts, published to accompany the career retrospective opening today at MoMA and MoMA PS1 in New York. "Whether in drawings, prints, photographs, casts or videos, Nauman repeatedly turns his hand into a focal point, examining it both as an artistic tool and as a metaphor for craft, sometimes within the same work. He breaks, however, with the traditional ideal of the artist as virtuoso: through simple gestures, and at times with a dash of humor, he points up the clumsiness of hands…" Featured image is All Thumbs (1996). continue to blog


Bruce Nauman: Neons Corridors Rooms


Marsilio Arte

ISBN: 9791254630136
USD $50.00
| CAN $69 UK £ 42

Pub Date: 5/23/2023
Active | Out of stock

Bruce Nauman: Contrapposto Studies


Marsilio Editori

ISBN: 9788829709267
USD $65.00
| CAN $91 UK £ 57

Pub Date: 9/28/2021
Active | Out of stock

Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts


The Museum of Modern Art, New York

ISBN: 9781633450318
USD $75.00
| CAN $99

Pub Date: 2/27/2018
Active | Out of stock

Bruce Nauman: Live or Die



ISBN: 9783832192846
USD $59.95
| CAN $79

Pub Date: 8/30/2010
Active | Out of stock

Bruce Nauman


Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris

ISBN: 9782869251175
USD $40.00
| CAN $56

Pub Date: 8/9/2015
Active | Out of stock