Matthew Barney - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Wednesday, October 2, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Gladstone Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Cologne, Museum Ludwig; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Matthew Barney: The CREMASTER Cycle, 6 June 2002 - 4 June 2003, no. 132, pp. 132, 138, 460, 461 and 510 (another example exhibited and illustrated, pp. 132, 138, 460 and 461)

  • Catalogue Essay

    CREMASTER 1: The Goodyear Waltz, 1995, presents nine striking prints produced to coincide with Matthew Barney’s extraordinary five stage film project, The Cremaster Series, which mythologises the sexual differentiation of an embryo. Its characteristically eccentric symbology of sex, sports and food, are concepts engrained in Barney’s earliest actions. Taking as his subject the cremaster muscle - the part of the male body that controls the raising and lowering of the testicles, regulating temperature to ensure the sperm’s fertility - Barney discusses the notion of reproduction and its battle with biological fate and prenatal sexual differentiation through one phantasmagorical image after another. In the present example, Two Goodyear Blimps float above the blue Astroturf in the central image, replicating the Bronco Stadium, the site of the artist’s high-school football games, reimagined by Barney to represent the total ascension of the cremaster muscle. Flanking this, images of glamorous air hostesses seemingly peer through the windows of the Blimps, engaging the viewer.

    Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle challenges social boundaries, collapsing and reimagining sexual distinction through his amusing and otherworldly portrayal of mythological imagery. As stated by the artist, it is ‘desire in the guise of a digestive system’ (Matthew Barney, quoted in 'Artist project: Matthew Barney', Tate, London, 1 December 2002, online). 'I want for the piece to have presence, and I want for that presence to provoke the audience' (Matthew Barney, quoted in 'Matthew Barney interview: 'It's what's outside the frame that's scary', 13 July 2013, Telegraph, online).


CREMASTER 1: The Goodyear Waltz

signed and dated 'Matthew Barney 1995' on the reverse of the c-print
8 gelatin silver prints and 1 c-print, in artist's frames
c-print 83.5 x 68.5 cm (32 7/8 x 26 7/8 in.)
gelatin silver prints each 64 x 55 cm (25 1/4 x 21 5/8 in.)

Executed in 1995, this work is number 1 from an edition of 3 plus 2 artist's proofs.

£80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for £212,500

Contact Specialist

Tamila Kerimova
Director, Specialist
Head of Day Sale
+44 20 7318 4065

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 3 October 2019