description of Wax Impressions of the Knees of Five Famous Artists by Bruce Nauman

This fifteen-inch-tall, seven-foot-long rectangular sculpture hangs on the wall like a giant bar of golden wax. There are five distinct impressions on the front of the piece, as if made by people pressing a knee into the sculpture while the material was hardening. The sculpture, however, is not made of wax. Rather, it is polyester resin on a fiberglass structure. Four of the impressions begin with divots and then extend downward, beyond the bottom edge of the sculpture, as if both a knee bone and shin pressed into the material. One divot, the second from our right, has no shin impression, and resembles a crater in the shape of a kidney bean.

Bruce Nauman, Wax Impressions of the Knees of Five Famous Artists, 1966
Bruce Nauman, Wax Impressions of the Knees of Five Famous Artists, 1966; fiberglass and polyester resin, 15 5/8 in. x 85 1/4 in. x 2 3/4 in. (39.69 cm x 216.54 cm x 6.99 cm); Collection SFMOMA, The Agnes E. Meyer and Elise S. Haas Fund and Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Collectors' Forum, Doris and Donald Fisher, Evelyn Haas, Mimi and Peter Haas, Pamela and Richard Kramlich, Elaine McKeon, Byron R. Meyer, Nancy and Steven Oliver, Helen and C; © Bruce Nauman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Bruce Nauman, Wax Impressions of the Knees of Five Famous Artists, 1966

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Wax Impressions of the Knees of Five Famous Artists
Artist name
Bruce Nauman
Date created
1966
Classification
sculpture
Medium
fiberglass and polyester resin
Dimensions
15 5/8 in. x 85 1/4 in. x 2 3/4 in. (39.69 cm x 216.54 cm x 6.99 cm)
Date acquired
1996
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
The Agnes E. Meyer and Elise S. Haas Fund and Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Collectors' Forum, Doris and Donald Fisher, Evelyn Haas, Mimi and Peter Haas, Pamela and Richard Kramlich, Elaine McKeon, Byron R. Meyer, Nancy and Steven Oliver, Helen and C
Copyright
© Bruce Nauman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/96.92
Artwork status
On view on floor 2 as part of Open Ended: Painting and Sculpture Since 1900

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