Stuart Regen Gallery
619 North Almont Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Tel. (213) 276-5424
Fax. (213) 276-7430

May 22nd - June 22nd, 1991
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10:00-6:00
Saturday 11:00-6:00

The Stuart Regen Gallery is pleased to announce the debut exhibition of New York-based artist Matthew Barney. Barney’s work is a combination of action, process, and installation while reinvestigating the presentation of art. In his upcoming exhibition Barney will show a mixed-media installation in both the main and auxiliary galleries.

Beginning with several “actions” documented on video, Barney creates a singular cosmology where sports become a smokescreen, a point of departure, for a more complex structure of desire and gender issues. The body, or more precisely his body, becomes the central medium of the work which interacts with the sculpture (the trophies of the action) as documented on video. The videotaped actions are poly- semous: their repetition suggests replays of a sports move while their content evokes Houdini perform- ing a gruelling, gladiatorial test, simultaneously insinuating sexual or religious rites. For the viewer Barney’s use of the body is reminiscent of the 60s and 70s works of, among others, Nauman, Beuys, and Acconci, and yet unlike their work Barney has customized his body to perform for his work, or, according to Jerry Saltz in a recent article, “The alchemy he performs is on the self. . . . He’s transormed the fat of Beuys into muscle within his own body.”

The sculptures on view are the remnants of the action, incorporating diverse and surprising materials (e.g. petroleum jelly, wax, wrestling mats, sternal retractors, mouthguards, an NFL jersey, glucose syrop, video monitors, a hydraulic jack, speculum, prostatic retractor, human chorionic gonadotropin [a natural steroid], etc.). The objects manifest an exquisite yet slightly degraded beauty as relics of the event. They are humble yet somewhat dangerous, latently perverse and dignified.

An opening reception for the artist will be held on Wednesday, May 22nd from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. For further information please contact Stuart Regen or Shaun Caley at the gallery.