Bruce Nauman’s first exhibition in the UK for 20 years opens this week. This contemporary artist will show his art that ranges from sculpture to neon to sound to film.

Bruce Nauman Tate Modern 2020

I started my week with the preview at the Tate Modern. It was my first visit since the museum had reopened, and reminded me of my previous trip to see Andy Warhol just before lockdown, when I went whizzing around on a mobility scooter with my broken leg!

Tate Modern | What to expect

This time I started in the members room and enjoyed a coffee with the most beautiful view of London.

London views from Tate Modern
Views of London from the Members Cafe at Tate Modern

The Tate has clear entry and exit routes, with one way routes around the museum, which actually makes it easier to explore.

You now have to wear a mask in all museums. I accept it, and I wear one. However, am I alone in feeling that the lack of oxygen means I don’t spend as much time as I would like?

Bruce Nauman | What to expect

I took myself off around the exhibition of an artist I knew absolutely nothing about, with my earphones in ready to be educated.

‘If I was an artist and I was in the studio, then whatever I was doing in the studio must be art’

Bruce Nauman

The exhibition isn’t curated chronologically and you are presented with an interesting mix as you wander through. The neon art scattered through the rooms particularly caught my attention.

Bruce Nauman Tate Modern 2020

Nauman created his first neon works in 1965 which he refers to as signs. When you think about today’s current trend of neons and words, he was well ahead of the game.

I thought the Walk In Walks Out piece, created in 2015, was especially clever. Naumann plays with your vision by using templates, heights, and scale. Simple but a touch of magic.

I’ve always loved a clown. I find them fascinating and mysterious. There is a room with videos of clowns that are very engaging, but some of the videos elsewhere which are on repeat gave me a real headache.

Black Marble Under Yellow Light 1981/88

It was the neon though that was the big attraction for me. Playful, clever, bright, with words that have real impact and meaning. You can see a quick view of my visit on my Instagram Reels

Verdict | Bruce Nauman at Tate Modern

Bruce Nauman’s exhibition is definitely worth exploring, and if you haven’t already seen Andy Warhol, it has been extended to 15 November, so you have two fantastic exhibitions on the same floor, and with a cafe in between!

Bruce Nauman runs until February 2021 : Booking essential for timed entry