Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Matthew Barney Guardian of the Veil at Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Matthew Barney, "Guardian of the Veil: Norman Mailer", 2007.

Matthew Barney, "Guardian of the Veil: Sons of Horus", 2007.

Matthew Barney, "Guardian of the Veil: The Adoration of Norman Mailer", 2007.

Matthew Barney, "Guardian of the Veil: Trans Am", 2007.

Matthew Barney is exhibiting a series of drawings from Guardian of the Veil (finally, an end to the confusion over whether the correct title is "Guardian" or "Guarding") and some photographs from Cremaster 3 at Regen Projects, 633 North Almont Drive, Los Angeles, CA, through January 19.

From the gallery's press release:

"Guardian of the Veil is the first in a series of performances Barney gave in his studio (Queens, NY) in April 2007 and then repeated in the Il Tempo del Postino exhibition in Manchester, England in July 2007. In this performance Barney used remnants from the Cremaster Cycle (principally Cremaster 3) combined with a new narrative based on elements from Norman Mailer's novel, Ancient Evenings. The Cremaster Cycle examines and follows a developing life from its inception to its inevitable end. In the Guardian of the Veil the narrative follows a protagonist who died in a fire and begins his journey through the seven stages of death toward eternal after-life. This examination of eternal life is in opposition to the trajectory of the Cremaster Cycle and sets up the conflict presented in Guardian of the Veil.

Drawn on black paper using graphite and petroleum jelly the drawings from Guardian of the Veil convey Barney's inimitable, almost surrealistic hand. As a vehicle for the narrative, the fantastical and exuberant drawings function as a story-telling device. In one drawing a decorated bull is seen mounting a Chrysler Imperial car buried in an Egyptian pyramid, seemingly its final resting place. Pictorially conflicting imagery of eternal life after death and the creation of life leading to its ultimate demise is apparent and at odds."

Back on the East Coast, Barney also has a piece in the Mask exhibition at James Cohan Gallery, 533 W 26th Street, NYC, through January 26 (which, of course, is only six blocks from's Matthew Barney installation at Sara Tecchia Roma New York, 529 W 20th St, 2nd Floor).

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