Widely recognized as one of the most significant artists working today, Nauman is regularly at the top of the auction house top sellers list. His highly sought after works bristle with insight and originality, and question the role of the artist as a communicator and exploiter of visual symbols. Drawing his inspiration from the activities and the speech of everyday life, Nauman's work consists of sculpture, performance, video, and… Read more
About the artwork
This etching is intimately linked with Nauman's eponymous video from 1988. Consisting of a transparent Plexiglas maze, several monitors, and a projection, the piece plays footage of a rat trapped within the structure as well as shots of the now empty maze in a parody of a laboratory experiment. The piece clearly comments on the destructive effect of constrictive environments and video surveillance, its title drawn from a contribution to the Scientific American in 1987 entitled "Stressed Out: Learned Helplessness in Rats Sheds Light On Human Depression".