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Bruce Nauman + Eva Hesse at Hauser & Wirth London

Bruce Nauman + Eva Hesse at Hauser & Wirth London, photo:chris osburnOne gallery, Two Shows

Two exhibitions of equal provocation and weight have opened recently at the Hauser & Wirth gallery in London. Featuring works by a couple of contemporary art's biggest names, Bruce Nauman and Eva Hesse, the shows offers an excellent way to experience art that allows viewers to question assumptions of connection and relationship with the outside world and how the slightest tweaks in perception can gloriously mess with the mind for the meaningful and enriching outcomes.

Bruce Nauman, mindf**k

With a title that's best left unrepeated in polite blogging, Bruce Nauman/mindf**k disturbs and beguiles viewers with naughty and complex neon sculptures, rotating environmental installations and more pieces designed to confront modern day notions of comfort. Nauman is famed for wishing to make “art that was just there all at once … like getting hit in the back of the neck with a baseball bat.” You can decide if he succeeds with this show, or if such an experience is even your cup of tea.

Eva Hesse, 1965

No bats to the back of your neck here, but the concurrent Eva Hesse exhibition offers just as much of a chance to scratch your head in amazement and ponder the works of a masterful artist. The show brings together key drawings, paintings and reliefs from a punctuated and pivotal period of Hesse's career during which she moved from two dimensional practice towards the sculpture she is more noted for. 1965 features pieces comprised of seemingly utilitarian objects which upon closer examination appear more to be fanciful puzzles inspired by contemplations of Mobius strips gone placidly awry. If the Nauman stuff is a mindf**k, Hesse's is a beautiful and endearing mind boggle.

Savile Row

Both the Bruce Nauman and the Eva Hesse exhibitions are on view now and run until the 9th of March. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Hauser & Wirth has two locations in London: one near Piccadilly Circus at 196A Piccadilly, W1J 9DY and the other at 23 Savile Row, W1S 2ET. The two venues are within walking distance of each other. The Nauman and Hesse shows are at the Savile Row gallery. An exhibition of selected works by painter Philippe Vandenberg is on view at the Piccadilly gallery.

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Morly Cowan

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