Bruce Nauman

La Brea / Art Tips / Rat Spit / Tar Pits

About this artwork

For his 1972 retrospective, Nauman proposed an outdoor work that would encircle the walls of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which stands adjacent to a famous prehistoric site, La Brea Tar Pits. The piece included the name of the site along with two anagrams of these four words depicted in neon tubing. This work is an indoor version that Nauman made in the same year. Throughout the early 1970s Nauman created several more luminous signs that used a combination of witty word games and bold colour to disturb the meaning of everyday phrases and expressions.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    La Brea / Art Tips / Rat Spit / Tar Pits
  • date created:
    1972
  • materials:
    Neon lights and glass
  • measurements:
    61.90 x 58.40 x 5.10 cm (65kg)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    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
  • accession number:
    AR00607
  • gallery:
  • subject:
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
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Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman