Bruce Nauman has been selected for the U.S. Pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale; Peter Plagens proposes to follow Nauman’s project from inception to completion to reception and give readers a behind-the-scenes look at both the project and Nauman’s thinking and working methods. The article will track the early stages of the project development at Nauman’s studio in Galisteo, New Mexico, to its semi-completion before the work leaves for Venice, and thereafter to the final opening in Venice in June 2009. Plagens will include both Nauman’s reaction to the retrospective and his own critical assessment of Nauman’s practice.
Peter Plagens’s monograph on Bruce Nauman will appear from Phaidon in 2013 and his novel, The Art Critic, has been published by Hol Art Books as an e-book (2012). His other books include Sunshine Muse: Modern Art on the West Coast 1945–70 (University of California Press, 2000) and Moonlight Blues: An Artist’s Art Criticism (UMI Research Press, Ann Arbor, 1986). Among Plagens’s recent articles are “Mississippi Yearning,” and “The Absolute Truth about Contemporary Art” (The Common Review, Spring 2009). His monthly column, “Eye Level,” ran in Art in America in 2010–2011. Plagens’s articles include “Bruce Nauman: Deft in Venice” (Art in America, September 2009), a review of Robert C. Morgan’s and Alexandra Schwartz’s Leave Any Information at the Signal (Bookforum, Spring/Winter 2003), and “Cousin Brucie” (Artforum, April 1995).