5 things to know about Matthew Barney: Redoubt
On 19 May the doors to our Hayward Gallery finally reopened, and waiting beyond them you could find Matthew Barney: Redoubt.
As the exhibition opened, Hayward Gallery Senior Curator Cliff Lauson collated five things to know about the American artist’s first solo museum presentation in the UK in over a decade.
Redoubt is Matthew Barney’s latest multi-faceted project that has been years in the making.
The exhibition includes over 50 artworks, from an epic film to large-scale sculptures to series of engravings. These all explore a constellation of mythologies, from the cosmic to the classical to the American West.
The Redoubt film was shot over many months in the sublime alpine wilderness of the Sawtooth Mountain range in Idaho.
With a world-renowned reputation as a filmmaker for The Cremaster Cycle (1994-2002) and River of Fundament (2014), Barney once again demonstrates a highly-poetic approach to the medium as director and producer of Redoubt. He also performs a leading role in the film as the Engraver.
Through the story of the hunt, Redoubt looks at the complex relationships between humans, animals, and nature.
Themes of artistic creation, land use, metamorphosis, as well as American, cosmic, and classical mythologies all emerge from the film and suites of artworks. Visitors will be able to watch the Redoubt film as a large-scale installation in the exhibition, and can also watch it online via the film streaming platform MUBI.
The large-scale tree sculptures are made of brass and copper, combining classical and experimental metal casting techniques with state-of-the-art 3D computer aided design.
Working with a foundry, Barney developed new metal-working techniques to produce these artworks at a monumental scale. The sculptures are also thematic hybrids, combining natural and organic shapes with forms drawn from tactical equipment. Redoubt will be Barney’s first exhibition to feature a new towering sculpture presented outdoors, Sawtooth Battery (2019).
There are over 40 highly-detailed copper engravings that have been electroplated, as depicted in the film.
Some of these artworks evidence scenes from the film, while many more depict other views and characters of the narrative, blurring the boundary between the Engraver character and Matthew Barney, narrator and artist.
Matthew Barney: Redoubt is at Hayward Gallery until 25 July.
The exhibition is open on Wednesday – Saturday, 11am – 7pm and Sunday, 10am – 6pm; and closed on Monday and Tuesday. You must book online before visiting.