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Light the Trip Fantastic

Intoxicated by the buzz of an electric beer sign outside a grocery store in his San Francisco neighborhood, Bruce Nauman was inspired to create his first neon piece, Window or Wall Sign, in 1967. In it he spelled out the slogan “The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths” in a pulsing, glowing, red-and-blue nautiluslike spiral. Nauman wanted “to achieve an art that would kind of disappear, that was supposed to not quite look like art."

Elusive Signs: Bruce Nauman Works with Light,” opening tonight at 7:00 at the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125th St., North Miami), includes sixteen of Nauman’s wordplay and identity signs, fluorescent light environments, and figurative neons from the 1960s through the mid-1980s.

Organized by the Milwaukee Museum of Art in Wisconsin, this retrospective of one of America’s mind-blowing talents “is all about the visitors’ experience,” curator Joseph D. Ketner II says. “They’ll experience a disorientation of light and space, just as Nauman intended.” On exhibit through January 7. Call 305-893-6211, or visit
Oct. 12-Jan. 7


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