Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Matthew Barney Makes Jerry Saltz's "New York Canon"

Matthew Barney's 1991 debut solo exhibition at Barbara Gladstone Gallery has been named one of the New York art world's most important events of the past 40 years by critic Jerry Saltz. Noting that Barney's show opened after he appeared on the cover of Artforum, Saltz writes, "The exhibition, which was continually packed with visitors, consisted of videos of Barney in drag dancing with a blocking sled, him dressed as a football player and crawling across Gladstone’s ceiling, naked, suspended from ice screws. In the downstairs gallery we saw videos of Barney inserting an ice screw into his anus in an attempt to crawl into his own body and turn himself inside out. Barney combined Nauman, Beuys, Serra, Joan Jonas, strange materials and something so physical, dense and unknowable that he created his own mystic one-man movement."

Pictured above: Matthew Barney's "Program: Houdini, O'Williams, Otto (HO2)", 1991, collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

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