The Roof Garden Commission: Dan Graham
April 29–November 2, 2014
American artist Dan Graham (born 1942, Urbana, Illinois) will create a site-specific installation atop The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden—the second in a new series of commissions for the outdoor site. The installation will comprise one of Graham's unique steel and glass pavilions—structures for which he has been renowned since the early 1980s—set within a specially engineered landscape designed in collaboration with Swiss landscape architect Günther Vogt (born 1957, Balzers, Liechtenstein). Constructed of hedge rows and curves of two-way mirrored glass, the pavilion will be both transparent and reflective, creating a changing and visually complex environment for visitors.
Since the publication of his landmark photo-essay "Homes for America" in 1966, Graham's work has engaged with issues of urbanism, public space, and the viewer's own experience within it through a multidisciplinary practice that includes writing, photography, video, performance, and the creation of sculptural environments of mirrored glass and metal. His 1976 entry for the Venice Biennale, Public Space/Two Audiences, disrupted the space of the gallery with a room split in two by a wall of mirrored glass. This transformed observers of the work into performers within it, and, through the sight of their own reflections, made them acutely aware of their own viewership. Graham's site-specific pavilions of the years that followed built on the artist's interest in engaging the public with the space and structures that surround them. With its spectacular views of the city skyline and Central Park, the Museum's Roof Garden presents a unique environment for Graham to further engage with notions of the city, its landscape and manufacture, and the role of the public within its spaces.