—Maeve visited the Matthew Barney exhibit at the Morgan Library and Museum this summer and writes about the exhaustive, behind-the-scenes show and its beautiful catalog. The exhibit now travels to Paris where it opens Oct. 8 at the Biblioteque National. –the artblog editors—————————-> Matthew Barney’s recent show at the Morgan Library & Museum, Subliming Vessel: The Drawings of Matthew Barney, was a triumph in preparatory drawings and conceptual ‘storyboards.’ Those mystified by Barney’s gleefully-heady films and performances were given the opportunity to access an assortment of clues elucidating the artist’s countless and convoluted references. While the show at the Morgan ended ... More » »
Since the King of Pop died, I’ve been catching up on my Michael Jackson video watching. The ones that really grab me are Thriller and Beat It which aspire to be short movies and pretty much are. Jackon’s dancing is remarkable to watch of course. But his dance moves take on even greater visual energy and emotion when he’s backed up by a dance troupe mimicking him and amplifying the movements. It’s then that the quick-stepping, twitching, pirouetting and hip popping becomes one big satisfying wave of movement.
Max Mulhern, whom I told you about here, wrote an interesting response to some of the comments on that piece. The comments focused on one thing mentioned in a much longer article– funding for artists. But an inflammatory topic will out, and one of the commenters wanted to know “What does Max Mulhern believe?” (about whether trust funded artists are the only ones who can afford to make art these days). Here’s his response: Post by Max Mulhern Dear Roberta,> I didn’t want to make a half baked reply on the blog concerning the question about trust fund artists. I ... More » »
Even before I knew it was Matthew Barney I knew it might be. Who else? An installation in a Chelsea gallery that snakes through four rooms and the entryway with huge objects made out of what appears to be fat or wax or some other dense repulsive material. This installation at Gladstone Gallery” has something to do with the artist’s new movie, made with his wife Bjork. I’m not sure the sculptures were used in the movie but they probably were. That’s the Barney m.o. Steve said “Yuck.” And that pretty much summed it up. The motif was nautical, the ... More » »
Barney putting a hat on Bjork in the symbol- and ritual-rich movie. Randy Kennedy‘s backgrounder in yesterday’s NY Times on the new Matthew Barney/Bjork collaboration, “Drawing Restraint 9,” is excellent. The new Barney, in case you haven’t heard, is a full length feature film that’s out now in New York. Barney’s left the world of Cremaster behind but this movie, in which he and his partner Bjork are the main characters sounds equally costume-heavy and ritual-driven. By the way, skip the NY Times’ multimedia trailer feature which subjects you to a trailer-length commercial before letting you see the trailer. Go ... More » »
Hey, Roberta, that was a nice piece your wrote in the Weekly on Matthew Barney. I get the feeling you could have written pages more.
My introduction to Matthew Barney’s art came in Jerry Saltz’s Art in America cover story (Oct. 1996). Saltz’s critical gush about Barney’s sexually weird universe (goat-eared fairies, Goodyear blimp phalluses, new types of genitalia!!) was enough to get your curiosity up – if not your dander. (As for Saltz, he’s still gushing! ) What’s the big deal about dressing up in a white suit, donning white pancake makeup, goat ears and cloven lip and dancing around with other guys and women dressed (or undressed). Oh, well maybe it was a big deal. But I’ve seen one of the Cremaster’s (Cremaster ... More » »
Yes. I think Barney–and David Salle is another example (see image)– is symptomatic of what’s wrong with the art world at its worst. What’s the point of being this inaccessible and self-absorbed, other than to flummox THE CRITICS (and some very important ones at that, Michael Kimmelman) into believing there’s something there, there? It’s the emperor’s-new-clothes approach to making it in the art world. I’m not saying the imagery isn’t arresting, both for its looks and its creepiness. But the story that would elevate it and justify it so that the viewer is led by the artist into his weird ... More » »