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Press release

The Met Announces Alex Da Corte as Artist for 2021 Roof Garden Commission

Alex Da Corte photo by Alex John Beck

(New York, February 11, 2021)—The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that Alex Da Corte (American, born 1980) has been commissioned to create a site-specific installation for The Met's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. The Roof Garden Commission: Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts will be on view from April 16 through October 31, 2021. 

The exhibition is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies. 

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

Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director of The Met, commented, “We are thrilled that Alex Da Corte will bring his imaginative vision to the Cantor Roof Garden this spring. The installation, which the artist initiated as the pandemic first took hold of the world, evokes notions of uncertainty, nostalgia, sadness, and hope so inherent in our turbulent times. With this commission, Da Corte has created a work of art that meets the present moment and its challenges with the promise of optimism.”

Sheena Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, added, “By tapping icons of art and popular culture from our collective consciousness, Alex Da Corte has created a new type of monument in this commission. In a play of opposites that is spirited, absurd and deadly serious, modern culture is reconfigured into unexpected orbit, evoking a utopian possibility of innocence and play in the face of these times of melancholic collapse. For these very reasons we look forward to unveiling the installation in April!”

The Roof Garden Commission: Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts was conceived by the artist in consultation with Sheena Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Shanay Jhaveri, Assistant Curator of International Modern and Contemporary Art, both of The Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. It is the ninth in a series of site-specific commissions for the outdoor space. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication featuring an interview with the artist as well as essays by Jhaveri and Jack Halberstam, Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University. It is richly illustrated with images that document Da Corte’s creative process from inspiration to fabrication.

The publication is made possible by the Mary and Louis S. Myers Foundation Endowment Fund.

About the Artist

Alex Da Corte was born in 1980 in Camden, New Jersey, and lives and works in Philadelphia. After training as an animator at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, he received a BFA in Printmaking/Fine Arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and an MFA from Yale University. Da Corte works across a range of media, including film, performance, painting, installation, and sculpture, and his practice is invested in deconstructing and reinventing those objects and cultural icons that are not only familiar and beloved but also contested. His work was included in the 2019 Venice Biennale and the 2018 Carnegie International in Pittsburgh. Museums that have mounted solo exhibitions include the Prada Rong Zhai in Shanghai (2020), Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne (2018), Secession in Vienna (2017), MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts (2016), and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam (2015). In March 2020, Da Corte reinvented Allan Kaprow's performance Chicken (1962) as part of Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-Garde.

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), Alicja Kwade (2019), and, most recently, Héctor Zamora (2020).

The Roof Garden Commission: Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts will be featured on The Met’s website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter via the hashtag #CantorRoof.


Updated February 12, 2021

Image: photo by Alex John Beck

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