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Matthew Barney: Drawing Restraint 9

Wednesday, June 27–Sunday, October 21, 2007

Matthew Barney (American, born 1967). Drawing Restraint 9, 2005. Polycaprolactone thermosplastic, aquaplast, and self-lubricating plastic, 36 1/2 x 114 x 80 inches (93 x 290 x 203 cm). Edition of 10 + 2 APs. Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York. © Matthew Barney, 2005. Photography by David Regen.

Matthew Barney is heralded as the most influential American artist of his generation for his epic, ravishing, eccentric, and all-consuming work. His films and the sculpture and photographic series that derive from them are biological, mythological, and historical. Drawing Restraint 9 follows his Cremaster Cycle, which was screened, in part, at the Gallery in February 2004, by looking back to a central tenet of his creative vision, an idea that grew out of Barney’s early experience as a athlete: form emerges through struggle with resistance. Drawing Restraint 9 is set on a Japanese whaling ship and stars Barney and his wife Björk in a two-and-one-half-hour film with a haunting and evocative sound track. Exploring the chasm between East and West, the scenes of a Japanese tea ceremony, whaling, sex, and the making of sculpture are edited together in a way that defies standard, cinematic narrative devices. Critic Jerry Saltz called it “...a story that takes place nowhere but that touches on everything.”

Claire Schneider
Associate Curator of Contemporary Art