Skip to main content
October 14, 2022 – December 9, 2022
Download Press Release
Gladstone is pleased to present its first exhibition with Matthew Barney in Seoul, which debuts the most recent work in his career-spanning DRAWING RESTRAINT series. DRAWING RESTRAINT 25, a 28- minute silent video, was shot with a small crew in Barney’s studio in January 2021. The performance is a duet of sorts, in which Barney and his daughter Isadora each engage in ritualized drawing using the tools of the studio. The video will be exhibited with a sculptural vitrine containing elements related to the DRAWING RESTRAINT performance. Also on view are a series of drawings on colored paper that layer themes from DRAWING RESTRAINT 25 with imagery from Barney’s last feature-length film Redoubt.

DRAWING RESTRAINT 25 takes place in the artist’s New York studio, with a small foundry as a mise en scene. As Barney’s daughter begins to circle the foundry perimeter, he tracks her movement with a watchful eye, while carving a relief portrait of her into a wooden mold with a rotary tool. The daughter explores the studio at first as a foreign place, then gradually learns its contours, occasionally pausing to perform improvised movements. She creates makeshift charcoal by burning the ends of tree-limbs in the heat of the furnace, and then uses these singed sticks to burn drawing marks into sheets of paper that hang on the walls. While father attempts to capture a likeness, daughter uses gesture and process to record her movement around the studio indexically, like marking rotations around the sun. Their duet culminates in a dramatic metal pour, as the crew pours molten brass into Barney’s relief drawing. The metal flows into the lines of the portrait, first filling the lines and then burning out the wood around them, erasing the image and suffusing the foundry with the orange light of the flames.

In a group of drawings linking DR25 to Redoubt, Barney layers finely-wrought graphite rendering with brightly colored gouache and gestural charcoal. In Redoubt, Barney’s character pursued a trio of women through the Idaho wilderness, surveilling them and making drawings of their activities. This narrative was, for Barney, an examination of whether and how artists possess their subjects in the act of rendering them. These notions of possessiveness, watchfulness, and power dynamics between artist and subject are mapped onto the father/daughter narrative of DRAWING RESTRAINT 25. In one such drawing, Barney’s Engraver character stands in the wilderness, with the beam from his headlamp creating sharply geometric planes of light and color. In another, orange flames make a dense field of color on a yellow ground, while a figure rendered in charcoal seems to create a strata of marks from within the drawing itself.