DRAWING RESTRAINT 2 (document)
Not on view
Self-lubricating plastic, gelatin silver prints, graphite pencil and crayon on paper, magnesium carbonate wedge, toe-clip strap
Overall: 24 1/2 × 21 × 3in. (62.2 × 53.3 × 7.6 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Drawing Committee
Rights and reproductions
© Matthew Barney, courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York
Matthew Barney began his DRAWING RESTRAINT series in 1987 as an undergraduate student at Yale. The series, which includes drawings, photographs, sculptures, and video, reflects Barney’s past as a high school athlete and is based on his ongoing interest the physical rigors of athletics—in particular, the idea that muscles strengthen when they encounter resistance. Barney proposed that this notion of resistance as a catalyst for growth can also be a metaphor for creativity: the strength of the work of art is proportionial to the obstacles that are overcome in order to create it. To make the drawings for DRAWING RESTRAINT 2, Barney employed a variety of devices—including a harness tethered to a makeshift ramp—that would hinder his movement and prevent him from reaching the paper without considerable difficulty. The stack of drawings and objects compiled here function as an archive of the act of creating the drawings within this set of conditions.