Inaugural Season Features Mix of Visual Arts and Performance, Including:
- Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible, major thematic survey featuring unfinished works of art from the Renaissance to the present day;
- Monographic exhibition of Indian modernist artist Nasreen Mohamedi;
- Continuous in-gallery performances by Artist in Residence Vijay Iyer (through March 31, 2016), a newly commissioned sonic experience by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams, and an all-day performance in The Met’s three locations of the U.S. premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s composition KLANG;
- Forthcoming exhibitions in 2016 season include rarely seen, early photographs by Diane Arbus (opening July 2016);
- Mid-career retrospective of the contemporary painter Kerry James Marshall (opening October 2016), with a complementary “artist’s choice” installation of works from The Met collection;
- Inhabiting Marcel Breuer’s Architecture, an exhibition of newly commissioned architectural photographs of four iconic Marcel Breuer-designed buildings (opening November 2016)
Since it was founded in 1870, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures. Furthermore, millions of people also take part in The Met experience online. The Met presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum now lives in three iconic sites in New York City—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters.
On March 18, 2016, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will launch its inaugural season at The Met Breuer, its new space dedicated to modern and contemporary art. Housed in the landmark building designed by the renowned Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer, The Met Breuer program invites visitors to engage with the art of the 20th and 21st centuries through a range of exhibitions, commissions, performances, and artist residencies all uniquely presented through the global breadth and historical reach of The Met’s unparalleled collection and resources.
“The reopening of Marcel Breuer’s iconic building on Madison Avenue represents an important chapter in the cultural life of New York City,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Met. “Whether frequent or first-time visitors to our Fifth Avenue building or The Met Cloisters, we look forward to welcoming everyone to The Met Breuer, which provides an unparalleled opportunity to experience modern and contemporary art through the lens of the global breadth and historical reach of The Met’s collection.”
Sheena Wagstaff, the Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of The Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, added: “With the launch of The Met Breuer, we are honoring the history of this beloved building and embracing its significance to the cultural landscape of our city as we infuse it with The Met’s curatorial spirit for the public to enjoy. For our inaugural season, we have developed a far-reaching program that explores themes that stretch across history, geography, and art forms. Great works of art can transcend both time and place, as our program powerfully demonstrates.”
Under the direction of Campbell, Wagstaf has developed the curatorial program at The Met Breuer in partnership with departments from across the Museum, including Photographs; European Paintings; European Sculpture and Decorative Arts; Drawings and Prints; Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; the American Wing; and Concerts & Lectures.
The Met Breuer’s program will spotlight modern and contemporary art in dialogue with historic works that encompass the full range of The Met’s vast collection. The building will host both monographic and thematic exhibitions, as well as new commissions and performances. The two inaugural exhibitions at The Met are Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible, a cross-departmental curatorial initiative that brings together works by some of the greatest artists of all time, from Titian to Louise Bourgeois, who experimented with a non finito style; and the largest exhibition to date dedicated to Indian modernist Nasreen Mohamedi. Additionally, a music installation by Artist in Residence Vijay Iyer will activate The Met Breuer’s Tony and Amie James Gallery in the lobby throughout March.
Photography is also a cornerstone of the program at The Met Breuer, including a presentation of early photographs by Diane Arbus, opening in July that will be drawn from The Met’s Diane Arbus Archive; and a series of commissioned architectural photographs that will document four seminal public buildings designed by Marcel Breuer, opening in the fall. Culminating The Met Breuer’s inaugural season, the first major survey in the United States of Kerry James Marshall, whose work asserts the place of the black figure within the narrative of Western painting, will go on view in October.
These programs will take place within an iconic building that has been restored with architect Marcel Breuer’s original vision in mind, supporting an integrated experience of art and architecture. Restoration work was completed under the guidance of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLC to maintain the unique character of the building’s signature attributes—including the textured concrete surfaces, bluestone floors, and bronze fixtures—with special consideration given to respecting the patina of history within the space by preserving the aesthetic of weathered areas. In addition to undertaking this extensive cleaning and restoration work, The Met also collaborated with the Whitney Museum of American Art to upgrade the building’s infrastructure systems. To enhance the building’s sunken garden, The Met commissioned landscape architect Günther Vogt to create a site-specific design and installation that includes Quaking Aspen trees planted along the west perimeter.
The Met gratefully acknowledges the following lead contributors to The Met Breuer: Daniel and Estrellita Brodsky and Howard S. and Nancy Marks; The Carson Family Charitable Trust, Tony and Amie James, and Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang; Cheryl and Blair Effron, Mark Fisch and Rachel Davidson, Mr. and Mrs. J. Tomilson Hill, Eliot C. and Wilson Nolen, Samantha Boardman Rosen and Aby J. Rosen, Bonnie J. Sacerdote, and Alejandro Santo Domingo; Stephanie and Peter Brant, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, Ann Cox Chambers, Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey W. Greenberg, Mary and Michael Jaharis, Michael B. Kim and Kyung Ah Park, Leonard A. Lauder, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, The Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, Barrie and Deedee Wigmore, and two anonymous donors.
Major corporate support for The Met Breuer is provided by Sotheby’s. A detailed history of the Breuer building is available on The Met’s website. Continue reading