Bruce Nauman created landmark installation ‘Natural Light, Blue Light Room’ is making its first showing since its initial presentation in 1971 at London’s Blain|Southern Gallery. Coinciding with Frieze Art Fair, the exhibition will run now until November 12.


Bruce Nauman originally exhibited ‘Natural Light, Blue Light Room’ for only two weeks, 45 years ago and is one of the first examples of an architectural intervention specifically designed to disturb, unsettle and discomfit the viewer.


Installed at Blain|Southern Gallery, the room serves a petri dish within which multiple gradients of two warring light sources clash, combine and confuse. A figurehead of the minimal aesthetic, the installation is representative of the gradual desertion of tangible ‘art objects’ of the time, and the journey towards conceptual art and contemporary performance art.


As visitors enter the room, they are forced to engage with the dramatic lighting that fills and animates the space. The unwavering blue light on the roof is constantly redefined and re-purposed by the ever shifting natural daylight that enters from the opposite side. As the eye of the viewer repeatedly adjusts to naturalize the phenomenon, the unfamiliar environment forces the subject to constantly re-position and reset their perception of light, depth, space and distance.


In this way, the Bruce Nauman room and the conditions it creates become the ‘object’ itself, a synthesis of stimuli that have a marked psychological and physiological effect on the individual.

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