From Library Journal
Celebrated as a sculptor and performance artist, Barney has caused quite a stir in the contemporary art world with his Cremaster films. The cycle of films is a fevered, sometimes delirious, and often beautiful exploration of the competing forces of artistic creation and destruction. Cremaster 3 is the largest and final film of the five-part series begun in 1994 and shot out of sequence. Largely textless and filled with images of corpselike racehorses, dental torture, and a half-woman, half-cheetah figure, the scenes often take on a nightmarish quality. Shifting from New York sets to outdoor settings in Ireland and Scotland, Barney weaves concepts of mythology, architecture, and freemasonry together with the wool suits and hats of a 1930s gangster movie. The book is published in conjunction with an exhibition of films, stills, and photographs organized by the Guggenheim Museum and traveling to Germany and France in 2002-03. While this book of film stills and photographs cannot capture the same drama and emotion as the moving film, it nevertheless presents the artist's ideas in a whirling tapestry of extreme beauty, violence, horror, and compelling narrative. Recommended for libraries with strong contemporary art collections.Kraig A. Binkowski, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Matthew Barney was born in San Francisco in 1967. When he was 6, he moved with his family to Boise, Idaho, and stayed there with his father after his parents divorced and his mother, an abstract painter, moved to New York City. He contemplated playing college football, but ended up paying his way through an undergraduate degree from Yale University by modeling professionally. Upon entering the contemporary art scene in the early 90s, Barney achieved almost instant success and controversy. Since then, he has exhibited all over the world, with solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; the Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Paris; the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; and the Kunsthalle Wien. His work has been included in international group shows, including Documenta11, the Whitney Biennial, and the Carnegie International. Barney was awarded the Europa 2000 Prize at the 1993 Venice Biennale and the 1996 Hugo Boss Prize. He currently lives and works in New York.