- Nairy Baghramian has been commissioned to create new works for The Met Fifth Avenue’s facade niches
- Jacolby Satterwhite will take over the Museum’s Great Hall with a major multi-media installation and performance series
(New York, April 10, 2023)—The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced two new artist commissions for fall 2023 following the spring opening of The Roof Garden Commission: Lauren Halsey (April 18–October 22, 2023), which will present a compelling and monumental architectural project by Lauren Halsey. For The Met Fifth Avenue’s facade niches, Nairy Baghramian will create four new sculptures—on view September 7, 2023 through May 19, 2024—marking the artist’s first public installation in New York City. From October 2 through November 26, 2023, the Museum’s Great Hall will be transformed by Jacolby Satterwhite with a site-specific video installation, a soundscape, and performances.
These projects are the latest in The Met’s series of contemporary commissions in which the Museum invites artists to create new works of art, establishing a dialogue between the artist's practice, The Met collection, the physical Museum, and The Met's audiences.
Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director of The Met, said, “We are thrilled to present three very exciting and different artist commissions this year. On April 18, Lauren Halsey’s highly anticipated project on The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden will be unveiled and enjoyed by visitors throughout the summer. And in the fall, we are excited to present major new works by Nairy Baghramian as well as Jacolby Satterwhite, two outstanding, innovative artists whose installations at The Met will challenge and expand our dialogue with the museum as a site of artistic discourse and community experience. We are proud to support these visionary artists and provide a platform for their work in such prominent and accessible spaces at The Met.”
For the facade, Baghramian will create four abstract polychrome sculptures with components that seem to have washed up like flotsam and jetsam in the voids of their respective niches. The Facade Commission: Nairy Baghramian, Scratching the Back is the fourth in a series of contemporary commissions for The Met’s facade that previously featured work by Wangechi Mutu (2019) and Carol Bove (2021); the current installation by Hew Locke, is on view through May 30, 2023.
Satterwhite’s project is the second in the series of commissions for The Met’s Great Hall, that began in 2019 with works by Kent Monkman. Satterwhite will create a large-scale work, comprised of video, sound, music, and performative interventions. Using more than one hundred objects from The Met collection, combined with images of New York City and its diverse communities, Satterwhite’s commission will celebrate the vital role of the Museum within the city and beyond. The installation will include a series of performances and a new soundtrack, which, along with the visual installation, will generate a densely layered environment within the Great Hall.
About the Artists
Born in Iran in 1971, Nairy Baghramian fled to Berlin, Germany, in 1984, where she continues to live and work. Baghramian creates abstract sculptures that explore the dynamics of the body, gender, and dichotomies of private and public space. Her site-responsive sculptures and installations engage with architecture and often evoke bodily gestures, junctures, or fragments. Along with site responsivity, other hallmarks of Baghramian’s work are polychromy and the innovative and subversive use of different types of material.
Her work has been featured in numerous European and American museum and gallery exhibitions and has also been included in the 2019 and 2011 Venice Biennales; Documenta 14, in Kassel and Athens in 2017; the 2017 and 2007 editions of Skulptur Projekte Münster, and the 8th and 5th Berlin Biennales. She was the recipient of the 2022 Nasher Prize. Her work is included the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Tate Modern, London; MUDAM, Luxembourg; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Born in 1986 in Columbia, South Carolina, Jacolby Satterwhite received his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Arts, Baltimore and his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Satterwhite’s boundary-pushing practice fuses a wide range of disciplines, such as performance, animation, music, painting, sculpture, and photography to create immersive media installations. The result of his highly technical creative practice, involving a myriad of software platforms, is a body of work that exemplifies contemporary media culture.
Satterwhite’s work has been presented in numerous exhibitions and festivals internationally, including most recently the FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, Ohio (2022); Miller Institute for Contemporary Art, Pennsylvania (2021); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2021); Gwangju Biennale (2021); and the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (2021). His commissioned public art installation for Lincoln Center’s new David Geffen Hall in New York debuted in October 2022. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma, Helsinki; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.
The Facade Commission: Nairy Baghramian, Scratching the Back is conceived by the artist in consultation with Akili Tommasino, Associate Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Met.
The commission is made possible by Angela A. Chao and Jim Breyer, Robert Denning, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky, and The Hayden Family Foundation.
The Great Hall Commission: Jacolby Satterwhite is conceived by the artist in consultation with Limor Tomer, The Met’s Lulu C. and Anthony W. Wang General Manager of Live Arts, and Lauren Rosati, Assistant Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art and the Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art at The Met.
The commission is made possible by Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky.
Additional support is provided by Sarah Arison, the Adrienne Arsht Fund for Resilience through Art, and Helen Lee Warren and David Warren.
April 10, 2023