From Coco Chanel's iconic little black dress to Sol LeWitt's sculptural "splotches," to the exotic textiles that inspired Henri Matisse – and more – The Metropolitan Museum of Art will display an unprecedented number of modern and contemporary art exhibitions this year and into 2006, featuring a wide variety of artists and media. Visitors to the Museum will also experience the lyrical architecture of Santiago Calatrava, the artistic inventions of Tony Oursler and Robert Rauschenberg, and the gentle watercolors of David Milne.
The rich group of offerings at the Metropolitan, to be highlighted under the umbrella theme Get Modern at the Met, began in full force this spring with a retrospective of Surrealist master Max Ernst, on view through July 10, and the designs of the legendary House of Chanel, on view through August 7. Continuing through the summer, the work of contemporary artists can be seen in Sol LeWitt on the Roof: Splotches, Whirls and Twirls, through October 30, and Tony Oursler at the Met: "Studio" and "Climaxed," now through September 18.
Tony Oursler at the Met: "Studio" and "Climaxed," which opened May 17, presents two new works by the internationally renowned installation artist. In Studio: Seven Months of My Aesthetic Education (Plus Some), inspired by Gustave Courbet's The Artist's Studio: A real allegory of a seven year phase in my artistic and moral life (1855), Oursler creates his own three-dimensional studio identical in scale to Courbet's painting, featuring video "visitors" by such friends and colleagues as Robert Altman and David Bowie, new works by artists including Jacqueline Humphries and Kaare Rafoss, and inspirational objects like a Rem Koolhaas architectural model. In Climaxed, a floating fireball hangs in mid-air in a state of continual explosion. The figure, which speaks, is a combination of animation and live-action elements of a face.
Coming to the Metropolitan next is the much-anticipated Matisse: The Fabric of Dreams--His Art and His Textiles (June 23 – September 25), which features approximately 30 paintings and 35 works on paper displayed alongside examples from Matisse's personal collection of the fabrics, costumes, and carpets that he depicted in his work. The exhibition marks the first public showing of Matisse's textile collection – referred to by the artist as his "working library" – which has been packed away in family trunks since Matisse's death in 1954.
The fall brings Santiago Calatrava: Sculpture into Architecture (October 18, 2005 – January 22, 2006). Calatrava is the author of some of the most beautiful structures of our epoch, but spends much of his time drawing and conceiving sculptures. This exhibition will show how many of the forms of his celebrated buildings originated in independent works of art, and will include approximately two-dozen sculptures in marble and bronze, many drawings, and 12 architectural models, including his recent commission for the proposed Path Terminal at the World Trade Center site.
Canadian painter David Milne (1882-1953) will be reintroduced to American audiences in David Milne Watercolors: "Painting Toward the Light" (November 8, 2005–January 29, 2006). Milne spent nearly 25 years working in the United States during the early part of his career. Much of his time was spent in New York City, where he exhibited modernist works in the 1913 Armory Show, and in upstate New York, where the natural scenery inspired him.
Ushering in the winter season will be Robert Rauschenberg: Combines, on view from December 20, 2005 to April 2, 2006. This exhibition will take a comprehensive look at the highly inventive body of work Rauschenberg terms 'Combines,' featuring approximately 75 objects produced between 1953 and 1964. With these mixed-media works of art, the artist transformed traditional techniques of painting, sculpture, and collage through his unconventional use of materials such as textiles, taxidermied animals, newsprint, and photographic reproductions.
A special feature about the Museum's modern and contemporary offerings, also called Get Modern at the Met, has been created for the Museum's Web site: www.metmuseum.org/getmodern. This interactive Web feature includes a "People" page with on-site interviews and photographs of visitors, and details visitor experiences in "What I Did at the Met Today." Web visitors are also encouraged to share their own Metropolitan Museum experiences and sign up for e-newsletters.
Live jazz will fill the Great Hall Balcony Bar on Friday evenings throughout the summer, from June 3 to August 26. (The Museum's popular classical ensemble continues on Saturday evenings.) Also special for the 2005 summer season: the Museum will serve cappuccino and drinks at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden Café during public hours from May 26 through October 30, as weather permits.
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CHANEL and its accompanying catalogue are made possible by Chanel.
Additional support has been provided by Condé Nast.
David Milne Watercolors: "Painting Toward the Light" is made possible by Rosamond Ivey. The exhibition was organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
Matisse: The Fabric of Dreams—His Art and His Textiles is made possible by The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation and the Janice H. Levin Fund. Additional support has been provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and the Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund. Education programs are made possible by The Georges Lurcy Charitable and Educational Trust. The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York;
the Royal Academy of Arts, London; and Le Musée Matisse, Le Cateau-Cambrésis.
An indemnity has been granted by the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Max Ernst: A Retrospective is made possible by ALTANA. The exhibition catalogue is made possible by the Doris Duke Fund for Publications and the Mary and Louis S. Myers Foundation. An indemnity has been granted by the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Robert Rauschenberg: Combines was organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Sol LeWitt on the Roof: Splotches, Whirls and Twirls is made possible by a grant from Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky.
May 27, 2005