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"A Mysterious Parallel Universe"
Matthew Barney is honored with the Kaiserring

Installation Shot: all in the present must be transformed:
Matthew Barney und Joseph Beuys
Photo: Matthias Schormann
©Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin

The Kaiserring of the city of Goslar is one of the most internationally renowned prizes for modern art. Since 1975, the city has been bestowing the honorary award on significant contemporary artists around the world. The prize owes its high acclaim to the many prominent artists that have already received the Ring, including Henry Moore, Cindy Sherman, and, last year, Jörg Immendorf. In 2007, the Kaiserring will be awarded to the American multi-media artist Matthew Barney, who will be receiving the aquamarine gem set in gold during a special meeting of the Goslar City Council on October 6, as the mayor announced at the traditional New Year's reception in the Kaiserpfalz in Goslar. With this award, the jury honors "one of the greatest symbolists of the past fifty years, whose utopian visions have given rise to artistic works that investigate the boundaries between the sexes." Barney's works combine film, installation, performance, sculpture, and drawing. The jury honored his art videos such as Drawing Restraint and the five-part Cremaster Cycle as "operatic in scale and cinematic in form." His works are an "incomparable labyrinthine private cosmos in which potential processes responsible for the creation of Man merge with motifs and symbols from mythology, history, geology, and architecture to form a parallel universe."

Installation Shot: all in the present must be transformed:
Matthew Barney und Joseph Beuys
Photo: Matthias Schormann
©Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin

Until recently, works by Barney were on view at the exhibition all in the present must be transformed at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. The successful juxtaposition of Barney's works with works by Joseph Beuys in the exhibition hall at Unter den Linden broke the record for the highest number of visitors to date for an exhibition of contemporary art. The show impressively demonstrated a number of conceptual factors the two artists have in common, such as their metaphoric treatment of material, the transformative aspect of their art, and the relationship between action and documentation. Now, the Kaiserring marks yet another thing these two artists have in common: Joseph Beuys was awarded the prize in 1979.

Deconstruction of Everyday Life
Deutsche Bank Sponsors the Gordon Matta-Clark Retrospective in New York

Gordon Matta-Clark, Untitled (Tree forms), 1971
©Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark, Courtesy Generali Foundation, Wien

He fried Polaroids in gold leaf, created strange edible art objects in his own restaurant, and amputated entire building parts. In his brief, but extraordinarily productive creative period, Gordon Matta-Clark made a significant mark on the New York art scene of the '60s and '70s. His innovative work continues to influence artists and architects to this day. Now, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York is dedicating a major retrospective to the art visionary, who died in 1978 at the age of 38. The show, sponsored by Deutsche Bank , will run from February 22 through June 7 and offers the first comprehensive overview of Matta-Clark's vast oeuvre; it features numerous films and photographs as well as sculpture, drawing, and notes.

Gordon Matta-Clark, Splitting 32, 1975
Collection of Jane Crawford and Bob Fiore,
Courtesy the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark
and David Zwirner, New York

Matta-Clark, who was schooled as an architect, first attracted attention in the late '60s with art projects for alternative galleries such as 112 Greene Street and interventions in public space. In 1971, together with some artist friends, he founded the experimental restaurant Food in SoHo, which became an important meeting place for the New York avant-garde. A short time later, his legendary Building Cuts gave him his first major breakthrough. Influenced among other things by Derrida's deconstructivism, Matta-Clark used chainsaws to slice through condemned buildings that still bore the traces of their former inhabitants. He removed facades and perforated walls, cutting out geometrically shaped apertures that opened up new perspectives on human living space. Matta-Clark's "Anarchitektur" addressed the decay, but also the social transformation of urban space. Whether as an artist, an architect, or a cook: Matta-Clark always operated on the boundary between art and life.

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