On View

Animal Pyramid

Photo Credit: Rich Sanders, Des Moines

Animal Pyramid

Artist: Bruce Nauman (American, born 1941)
Date: 1990
Medium: silicone bronze with stainless steel armatures
Dimensions:
Large: 12 x 7 x 4 ft. (3.7 x 2.1 x 1.2 m.)
Credit Line: Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Commissioned for the Des Moines Art Center by Anonymous Donors and the National Endowment for the Arts, 1990.18
Accession number: 1990.18
Classification: sculpture
Label TextAnimal Pyramid was made specifically for its setting, and has a contextual relationship with both the park and the architecture of the Art Center, particularly the Richard Meier wing. Nauman stated that “the formal parts of the building, the squareness and then the curves, must have something to do with how I thought about the pyramid”. Although Nauman has worked in many different formats and media throughout his influential career, images of animals have appeared often. The absurd pose of Animal Pyramid is, like much of Nauman’s work, darkly humorous, and has several possible interpretations, from a strange circus act to a bizarre taxidermy display.
Published ReferencesNeal Benzra, Kathy Halbreich, Paul Schimmel and Robert Storr, essayists; Joan Simon with Janet Jenkins and Toby Kamps, general editor, BRUCE NAUMAN, (Exhibition catalogue and catalogue raisonne), Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, distributed Art Publishers, 1st edition, 1994, cat. no.442, color ill. p.323

AN UNCOMMON VISION: THE DES MOINES ART CENTER, Des Moines Art Center, 1998, ref. pp.35 & 209, b/w detail p.209, color ill. pp.208 & 209
entirely unexpected