Partial Truth
© 2013 Bruce Nauman / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London.

Reference URL

Partial Truth 1997

On Tour On tour at UK / YORK / YORK ST MARY'S

  • Artist Rooms
Nauman is perhaps best known for his neon signs, which employ a mixture of vibrant colour and wordplay. In contrast to these, his recent artworks often employ a more sombre style. Comprised of a black granite slab carved with the words ‘partial truth’, this sculpture appears rather like a memorial plaque, and is reminiscent of 1960s minimalist artworks. Nauman here inscribes an abstract concept on to a physical object, perhaps questioning the ability of art to reveal hidden truths. Situated within a gallery space, language nevertheless becomes a tangible entity that demands the interaction between viewer and object.

Glossary Open

Abstract art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.


An art movement of the 1960s onwards, primarily in sculpture. It was in part a reaction against the flamboyance of Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism. It is characterised by a lack of expressiveness and the use of simple forms, often in repetition.

Abstract art, Minimalism


  • Acc. No. AR00575
  • Medium Granite
  • Size 6.00 x 60.70 x 55.00 cm
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008