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Press release

Mexican Artist Héctor Zamora’s Commissioned Work for the Cantor Roof Garden to Go on View When The Met Reopens on August 29

Exhibition Dates: August 29–December 7, 2020 
Exhibition Location: The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, Gallery 926

Héctor Zamora’s site-specific work for The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, titled Lattice Detour, will be on view when the Museum reopens on August 29. For The Roof Garden Commission: Héctor Zamora, Lattice Detour, the artist has transformed the Roof Garden terrace and view of the surrounding Manhattan skyline by utilizing one of the defining symbols of our time: the wall. It will be on view through December 7, 2020.

The Roof Garden Commission: Héctor Zamora, Lattice Detour is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Additional support is provided by Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky.

Max Hollein, Director of The Met, said, “Using modest material, Hector Zamora’s Lattice Detour interrupts and refocuses how visitors interact with this beloved space, situated atop The Met and surrounded by the Manhattan skyline, creating a meditation on movement, transparency, and interference. Manifesting itself as a protective wall, curved artwork, and permeable screen, Lattice Detour is a transformative, charged, and timely intervention.”

Sheena Wagstaff, The Met’s Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, added, “Well known for his site-specific installations that re-articulate public spaces and the built environment, Zamora challenges and redirects our expectations of the Cantor Roof Garden as a social space, asking the visitor to navigate a barrier to the open view beyond the parapet. Constructed of bricks composed of Mexican earth, using local labor and traditional processes, Zamora’s lattice wall is a poetic metaphor writ large, and a critique of the social, political, and economic considerations inherent in its making.”

Zamora uses the wall, which seemingly dictates how one moves around the space and also screens the view of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline, to create a response in viewers that communicates the impact of barriers: thwarting access to open, expansive outlooks on the world. Yet this wall is created for reasons beyond hindering. The bricks, stacked 11 feet high, have been turned to their side to show their perforations; with that artistic gesture they let in light and allow air to flow through, referencing celosía walls—the latticed structures found in vernacular architecture of the Middle East, Africa, Iberia, and Latin America that provide shade and ventilation. The wall’s basic unit—a terracotta brick made of Mexican earth—is an ancient building material that relates more closely to the natural environment of the park than to the steel skyscrapers rising high on the horizon. As visitors navigate around the wall’s gentle arc, they notice the tactility of the structure’s materiality as well as the geometric patterns and shadows cast by the lattice. These elements suggest that the work’s role as a partition is equivocal. Through the grid of its openings, the gravity of the massive wall turns into a sensual and ethereal mesh. It is as if the wall itself is beckoning us to look through to the far side. In this way, Zamora invites us to reconsider the panoramic view and the implications of obstruction and permeability within a social space.

The Roof Garden Commission: Héctor Zamora, Lattice Detour was conceived by the artist in consultation with Sheena Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Iria Candela, Estrellita B. Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art, both of The Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. It is the eighth in a series of site-specific commissions for the outdoor space.

The Roof Garden Commission is accompanied by a publication that features an essay by Iria Candela and an interview with the artist by Paola Santoscoy, Director of the Museo Experimental El Eco (National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM) in Mexico City. It is published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press and is the eighth in a series of books that document The Met’s annual Cantor Roof Garden commissions.

The catalogue is made possible by the Mary C. and James W. Fosburgh Publications Fund.

About the artist
Born in 1974 in Mexico City, Mexico, Héctor Zamora recently relocated there after living in Lisbon, Portugal, for four and a half years and São Paulo for nine. He received a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco, Mexico City, in 1998. Zamora’s work transcends the conventional exhibition space to reinvent and redefine it, generating friction between the common roles of public and private, exterior and interior, organic and geometric, real and imaginary.

His solo exhibitions include Movimientos Emisores de Existencia, LABOR, Mexico City (2019); Nas Coxas + Acima de tudo, Luciana Brito Galeria, São Paulo (2018); Ordem e Progresso, MAAT, Lisbon, Portugal (2017) Memorándum, Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City, Mexico (2017); Re/vuelta, MARCO, Monterrey, México (2017); Dinâmica Não Linear, CCBB São Paulo, Brazil (2016); Ordre et Progrès, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2016); Panglossian Paradigm, Redcat, Los Angeles, California (2013); Architecture + Art, SMoCA, Scottsdale, Arizona (2012); Inconstância Material, Luciana Brito Gallery (2012); White Noise, Auckland Arts Festival, New Zealand (2011); Paraísos Ofrecidos, El Eco, Mexico City (2011); De Belg wordt geboren met een baksteen in de maag, FLACC, Genk, Belgium (2008) Cerca Series: Héctor Zamora, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) (2007); Líneas de Suspensión, ensayo sobre GeometríaFunicular, Galería Enrique Guerrero, Mexico City (2005); Paracaidista, Av. Revolución 1608 bis, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (2004); and a=360º r/R, installation at La Torre de los Vientos, Mexico City (2000).

Zamora’s work has also appeared in international group exhibitions, including Seismic Movements, Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2020); Durch Mauern Gehen, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2019); Det Andet Sted, KØS Museum of Art in Public Spaces, Køge, Denmark (2019); Condemned to be Modern / Pacific Standard LA / LA, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (2017); Brasil Beleza?!, Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague, Netherlands (2016); Masterworks from the Hirshhorn Collection, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2016); Buildering: Misbehaving the City, Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary, Cincinnati, Ohio (2014); Resisting the Present: Mexico, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (2012); and Eco: Arte Mexicano Contemporáneo, Reina Sofía, Madrid (2005). The artist has also participated in numerous biennials such as the 11th Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2018); 14th Lyon Biennial (2017); 4th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Yekaterinburg, Russia (2017); 12th Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba (2015); 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennial, China. (2014); 13th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2013); 12th International Cairo Biennial, Cairo, Egypt (2010); 6th Liverpool Biennial, United Kingdom (2010); 53rd Venice Biennial, Italy (2009); 27th São Paulo Biennial, Brazil; and 9th Havana Biennial, Cuba (2006).

About The Roof Garden Commission
The Roof Garden Commission series was established in 2013 by The Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. The series of site-specific commissions on The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden has featured work by Imran Qureshi (2013), Dan Graham (2014), Pierre Huyghe (2015), Cornelia Parker (2016), Adrián Villar Rojas (2017), Huma Bhabha (2018), and, most recently, Alicja Kwade (2019).

The Roof Garden Commission: Héctor Zamora, Lattice Detour is featured on The Met website, as well as on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter via the hashtag #CantorRoof.


August 25, 2020

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