Drawing Restraint 15 (2007) by Matthew Barney, Photo: Neville Wakefield, via Schaulager
Currently on view at Schaulager in Basel is “Drawing Restraint” presenting sixteen performances by American artist Matthew Barney. In each enactment the artist leaves traces in an atmosphere of self-inflicted psychological and physical restraints. The result of such performances are sculptures, vitrines, drawings and videos all of which are juxtaposed against North Renaissance art.
More text and related links after the jump….
Restraint 15 (2007) by Matthew Barney, Photo: Neville Wakefield, via Schaulager
The concept behind “Drawing Restraint” is that form is produced when it struggles against resistance. The idea was first conceived in 1987 when the artist was an art student at Yale. Since then he has continually developed and explored the notion usually in conjunction with a museum exhibition. The first performances consist of ramps, slopes, elastic belts and various other obstacles that hinder the artistic process.
Restraint 15 (2007) by Matthew Barney, photo: Neville Wakefield, via Schaulager
As the series progressed, the setting for each performance becomes more elaborate and theoretically developed. Objects used during performances now capture certain aspects of the artist’s enactment as “secondary forms” in the shape of drawings, sculptures, vitrines and photographs. The objects which fall into such artistic categories are then carefully selected and positioned accordingly. Each action is also documented on video.
Prayer Sheet with Wound and Nail by Matthew Barney exhibition view, via Schaulager
The Lorenz Foundation, which operates Schaulager, will acquire in partnership with the Museum of Modern Art, Matthew Barney’s archive of the Drawing Restraint performance series. Such a joint acquisition makes it possible for the series to be available to the public as a whole for the first time.
Restraint 9 (2005) by Matthew Barney, Photo: Chris Winget, via Schaulager
Matthew Barney was born in San Francisco in 1967. He attended Yale University in 1991 and soon after became renowned in the art world for his controversial yet successful films and performances especially the Cremaster series. He now exhibits and stages his artwork at important galleries, museums, and art events throughout the world.
Press Release [Schaulager]
Matthew Barney’s Series of Sixteen “Drawing Restraint” Performances on view at Schaulager [Artforum]
Matthew Barney Series Now has Two Homes [NYtimes]