Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Bruce Nauman | Clear Sky

Bruce Nauman
Clear Sky
New York City, USA: Castelli Gallery, [1968]
[12] pp., 12 x 12 cm., staple-bound
Edition size unknown

Nauman's second book (after Pictures of Sculpture in a Room) contains neither words nor images. Many critics have suggested that while Ed Ruscha was busy documenting Los Angeles buildings, pools and parking lots, Nauman trained his camera upward, to the LA sky (in this and the follow-up, LA Air). While it's true that Nauman's next outing would be a direct response to Ruscha's bookworks (Burning Small Fires), Clear Sky is reportedly made without a camera. The full-bleed images of varying hues of blue are simply ink, not photographs of the sky as suggested in the title.

"Clear Sky was a way to have a book that had only coloured pages- pictures of the sky. I like that idea that you were looking into an image of the sky, but it is just a page: you're not really looking into anything - you're looking at a flat page. LA Air was the same idea, but it was also a response to Clear Sky using polluted colours instead."
- Bruce Nauman, 1989

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