Matthew Barney – The Occidental Guest
April 7 though May 13, 2006
Gladstone Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Matthew Barney. An acclaimed artist whose conceptual program spans film, sculpture, photography, drawing, and performance, Barney’s pairing of meticulously developed metaphor with seductive visual rigor has resulted in visionary masterworks in all media since the early nineties. This exhibition will consist of sculptures and drawings related to his recent project DRAWING RESTRAINT 9 and a new action DRAWING RESTRAINT 13.
Dates: April 7 – May 13, 2006
Location: Gladstone Gallery, 515 West 24 Street New York, NY 10011 (Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 – 6)
DRAWING RESTRAINT 9 is the most complex installment in an ongoing series begun in 1987. Barney’s motivation for the series is to explore “resistance as a pre-requisite for development and a vehicle for creativity,” drawing parallels between the biological system of situation/condition/production and the artistic manifestations of psychosexual drives. The feature film DRAWING RESTRAINT 9 features Barney and musician Björk, who also scored the film, as Occidental Guests aboard a whaling vessel in the Sea of Japan whose seemingly predestined meeting results in an unconventional romance. Throughout the work, Barney addresses various themes surrounding the history and culture of Japan including the Shinto religion, the tea ceremony, the history of whaling, and the supplantation of blubber with refined petroleum for oil.
The drawings and sculptures featured in this exhibition focus on the relationship between the Japanese Hosts and the titular Occidental Guests, the male and female protagonists whose subsequent transformation powers the film’s action. From the guests’ partaking in a tea ceremony to the historical backdrop of General MacArthur’s lifting of the whaling moratorium, Barney figures the social, historical, and formal aspects of the host/guest dynamic as a method of physical and psychological restraint. To this effect, Barney creates sculptures recalling the architecture of the vessel and the physical transformations that take place. Large-scale thermoplastic sculptures echo the host/guest relationship, while functioning as a facility for unrestrained organic overflow. Relating this discourse in a series of graphite and mixed media drawings, Barney captures the film’s symbology in eroticized images that chart the effects of physical limitation and libidinal release. The site-specific performance DRAWING RESTRAINT 13 acts as a formal and thematic coda for the exhibition.
Matthew Barney was born in 1967 and studied art at Yale University. He has received numerous awards including the Aperto prize at the 1993 Venice Biennale and the 1996 Hugo Boss Award. He has been included in group exhibitions worldwide such as Documenta IX in Kassel, Germany; the Whitney Biennials of 1993 and 1995; and the groundbreaking “Post-Human” exhibition in 1992. His solo exhibition “The Cremaster Cycle,” organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, traveled to the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. The large-scale exhibition of the entire “Drawing Restraint” series will be on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from June 23—September 19, 2006, after touring to the 21st Century Museum of Modern Art in Kanazawa, Japan, and the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea, in 2005. The Museum of Modern Art and the Japan Society will premiere DRAWING RESTRAINT 9 on March 28th followed by a theatrical run at New York City’s IFC Theatre beginning March 29th. The storyboards for DRAWING RESTRAINT 9 will be on view at John McWhinnie @ Glenn Horowitz Bookseller in New York City. A two-part artist’s book will be available.