Perhaps Americans can only really make abstract art


Matthew Barney has been called the American Damien Hirst. You may be surprised at the level of fame this implies because you have probably barely heard of him.

Whatever media excitement has been whipped up around his first major British exhibition, which opens today at London’s Serpentine, Barney is only really famous among curators, critics and other artists. The most pop-cultural thing about him is being the boyfriend of the Icelandic singer Björk. Barney’s 2005 film Drawing Restraint 9, on which most of the works are in some way parasitic, portrays the two of them dismembering one another in a deathly consummation of love aboard a whaling ship. It’s best enjoyed as an extended Björk video: a bit of a comedown for an artist whose audacious, epic series of symbolist films, The Cremaster Cycle, was one of the most striking works of art to come out of America in recent times.

more from The Guardian here.