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Matthew Barney: Drawing Restraint

Matthew Barney: Drawing Restraint

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  • Wed 20 Apr ’16, 11:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thu 21 Apr ’16, 11:00am – 5:00pm
  • Fri 22 Apr ’16, 11:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sat 23 Apr ’16, 11:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sun 24 Apr ’16, 11:00am – 5:00pm
  • View all sessions


Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University, Kelburn Parade, Gate 3, Wellington


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

Adam Art Gallery is pleased to present Matthew Barney: Drawing Restraint, the first solo presentation of this major American artist’s work in New Zealand. Drawing Restraint is Barney’s most sustained body of work; this exhibition of videos selectively surveys the artist’s ongoing enquiry into action-based drawing, a project begun in 1987.

The exhibition will be presented alongside Linie Line Linea—Contemporary Drawing, an exhibition of drawings by 20 contemporary artists living and working in Berlin, brought to the Adam by the Institute for Cultural Relations (ifa) and Goethe-Institut Wellington. It also provides a context for the one-night-only screening of Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler’s epic six-hour film, River of Fundament, presented on Saturday 19 March as the Gallery’s contribution to the 2016 New Zealand Festival.

In contrast to Barney’s films and live events, which have in some instances involved hundreds of participants, Drawing Restraint is Barney’s solo mode of practice. Prior to his exhibitions being made public, Barney will typically deploy trampolines, hoists and technical climbing equipment to ascend and traverse the otherwise empty spaces. Through this process these architectural confines become the restraining element of Barney’s expanded drawing procedures. The residue and marks that result from these interactions index the artist’s contact with his environment, resulting in site-specific works that make a subject of the artist’s body and its physical limitations.

Adam Art Gallery has worked with the artist to present these works specifically for its Kirk Gallery. Selected by the artist from his catalogue of the series, the videos are presented on ceiling mounted brackets and provide behind-the-scenes footage of Barney executing his drawings in various sites around the globe: New York, Kanazawa, London, and so on. Seen as a whole, these videos chart the development of Barney’s extraordinary practice. Many of these physical feats are echoed in the endurance-based activities of Barney’s characters in his infamous films: from the Cremaster series (1994 – 2002) to the feature-length film Drawing Restraint 9 (2005).

The Drawing Restraint works have been jointly loaned from the Schaulager museum, Basel and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Adam Art Gallery acknowledges the generous support of Matthew Barney Studio and Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York.

The exhibition runs 26 February - 24 April 2016.
All are welcome, free entry.

Image: Matthew Barney, Drawing Restraint 6, 1989/2004, Documentation Photograph, Copyright Matthew Barney, Photo: Chris Winget, Courtesy the Laurenz Foundation, Schaulager, Basel; and The Museum Of Modern Art, New York, Richard S. Zeisler Bequest and The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund (both by exchange)

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