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Barney, Matthew. MATTHEW BARNEY: CREMASTER 3. New York City, NY: Guggenheim Museum, 2002. Softcover. First Edition/First Printing. 204 pages. Fine.

Artist Book. Now considered a contemporary art classic. The first and only edition. The fifth and final installment in the "Cremaster" Cycle. Except for "Cremaster 1", all of the other installments are presented in mixed-up sequence. A brilliant production by Matthew Barney: Oversize-volume format in oblong shape. Pictorial softcovers, as issued. Art by Matthew Barney. There is no text. Printed on thick coated stock paper to the highest standards. Without DJ, as issued. Presents the stunning finale to the artist's epic cycle. People looking for a consistent and comprehensible narrative will be consistently and comprehensively frustrated: Vintage Chryslers colliding over the lobby of the Chrysler building, a woman cutting up potatoes wearing shoes with blades attached to the soles, a naked man (Matthew Barney) lying on an operating table with his penis shrinking incredibly and turning into a tiny wheel, and a bevy of beauties enjoying a bubble bath at the Guggenheim Museum are just some of the Artist Book's imagery and one of the "Cremaster" Series' most powerful realizations. Part of the "Cremaster" Cycle's originality lies in the fact that it exists in virtually all conceivable media. The five films, the five Artist Books, performance art, individual exhibitions, sculptures, photographs, drawings, and storyboards have all been shown to the public and are all considered by Barney to be integral to his unique project. His Wagnerian, "all-over-the-place" epic scale and staggering ambition have baffled just about everyone: Film critics cannot comprehend the films and collectors think the Artist Books either supersede or have been superseded by the Exhibition Catalog. All of this misses Barney's point, which is that "Cremaster" exists in myriad forms, the only way he feels he could do justice to his subject. "Cremaster" is nothing less than his vision of the creative process, the destruction of nature, and the cycle of life through the "lens" of American culture. Strange, complex, and visually exhilarating, "Cremaster" appropriates everything hungrily, promiscuously, and triumphantly: History, autobiography (Barney appears in the works, unabashedly naked in many of them), popular culture, Freud, Mormon lore, rock music, classic films, arts and artists throughout Western history, and ancient mythology to create a dreamily hypnotic landscape that "reflects" on gender, sex, ritual, power, violence, seduction, beauty, creation, destruction, renewal. As is now well-known, the cremaster is the muscle that raises or lowers the testicles, depending on temperature, fear or external stimulation. Meticulously planned, "Cremaster 3" was begun in 1994 and took many years to complete. It was worth it because Matthew Barney has pulled off the grand idea of the "total project" in a way not attempted by a contemporary American artist. "The most important American artist of his generation" (The New York Times). A "must-have" title for Matthew Barney collectors. This title has been out-of-print for a long time and is now highly collectible. This is one of few copies still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A very scarce copy thus. 200 color plates. One of the most brilliant living American artists. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER MATTHEW BARNEY TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0892072539. $100.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on September 20, 2017.