All in the Present Must Be Transformed: Matthew Barney and Joseph Beuys
October 28, 2006–January 12, 2007
All in the Present Must Be Transformed: Matthew Barney and Joseph Beuys examines key affinities between the two artists, who, though separated by a generation and geography, share many aesthetic and conceptual concerns. The exhibition focuses on Barney's and Beuys's metaphoric use of materials, their interest in metamorphosis, their employment of narrative structures, and the relationship between action and documentation in their work. The show's contents, drawn largely from the Guggenheim Museum's permanent collection, pairs a selection of drawings and vitrines by each artist, as well as Barney's multipart sculpture Chrysler Imperial (2002) from CREMASTER 3 with Beuys's installation Terremoto (1981). The presentation also examines the performative side of the artistsí practices, giving evidence to the way both have theatricalized their sculptural production. Organized by Nancy Spector, the exhibition premieres at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin before traveling to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice during the 2007 Venice Biennale.
TOP: Joseph Beuys, Terremoto, 1981. Typesetting machine, Italian flag, felt, nine blackboards with chalk drawings and diagrams, metal container with fat and lead type, cassette recorder with tape, and brochure, 80 x 137 3/4 x 193 inches. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. 91.3960.a-.n. Joseph Beuys © 2005 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.
BOTTOM: Matthew Barney, Chrysler Imperial, 2002 (detail). Cast concrete, cast petroleum jelly, cast thermoplastic, stainless steel, marble, and internally lubricated plastic, five units; four units approximately 24 x 60 x 90 inches (61 x 152.4 x 228.6 cm) each; one unit approximately 66 x 156 x 168 inches. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Partial gift, Dimitris Daskalopoulos; purchased with funds contributed by the International Director's Council and Executive Committee Members 2003.88.
Installation view, Matthew Barney: The CREMASTER Cycle, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2003