Bruce Nauman is back, and once again he’s making it look easy, with a few short, breezy videos in which simple ideas, set in motion, yield miraculous results. As with his other recent videos, his hands star. In some, he narrates as he works through combinations of fingers: thumbs, thumbs and indexes, and so on. Because his fingers are close together, viewing them induces the parallax effect: a short third finger seems to float between them. (You can try this right now: Hold out your hands close together, extend various fingers so that they almost touch, and stare through them off into the distance—voilà.)
Like most contemporary art galleries, the Gagosian Gallery’s international branches tend to go quiet by the end of July, closing to the public or keeping on view a show that opened much earlier in the season. This year, though, Gagosian’s flagship spot at 980 Madison will open two month-long shows on July 30, each presenting one major artwork, Robert Ryman’s A Painting in Four Parts and Bruce Nauman’s One Hundred Fish Fountain.
Look at This!
Dana Jennings takes a look at a number of new art books, including ones by Robert Longo and Ryan McGinley, whose photographs, she writes, “are songs of innocence.” [NYT]
Shepard Fairey’s new mural is unveiled in London’s “Pleasure Garden.” Here’s a slide show of some of the other street art on view. [The Guardian]
Bruce Nauman burned a copy of Ed Ruscha’s 1964 book Burning Small Fires and Milk—a book of everyday photographs with some that depict fires. Mr. Nauman photographed the book burning, then edited the images down to only pictures of fire, printed the images on one large sheet and folded down the uncut sheet between the covers of a book. To view Mr. Nauman’s book, called Burning Small Fires, you would have to fold and unfold it, causing wear to the paper and redundancy resonant with the book’s title.