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As the Met Prepares an Action-Packed Fall Season, Museum Director Max Hollein Talks Deaccessioning, NFTs, and Chuck Close


The Art Detective is a weekly column by Katya Kazakina for Midnight Publishing Group News Pro that lifts the curtain on what’s really going on in the art market.

 

The 12-foot-tall statue of Athena Parthenos has been a silent witness at the entrance of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for the past five years. It greeted millions of visitors in the Great Hall, waited for them to return during months of mandatory lockdowns, and welcomed them back when the museum reopened a year ago.

This week, the marble goddess of wisdom from 170 B.C. was dismantled in order to be sent back home to the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany. In her place, two ancient Maya stone monuments, known as stelae, were erected. Lent by the Republic of Guatemala, they are life-size replicas of the ancient indigenous American rulers K’inich Yo’nal Ahk II and Queen Ix Wak Jalam Chan (Lady Six Sky). 

A newly installed Maya stone monument at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. © Metropolitan Museum of Art 2019, photography Wilson Santiago.

A newly installed Maya stone monument at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. © Metropolitan Museum of Art 2021, photography Wilson Santiago.

At a press conference on September 2, Max Hollein, the Met’s director, shared the spotlight with Guatemala’s minister of culture and sports. Hollein, 52, an Austrian art historian who has been at the helm of America’s largest museum since 2018, spoke of the privilege to share “these treasures with the thousands of visitors who walk through the museum’s door every day.” He invited New Yorkers “who come from the region to connect with the rich histories” and evoked “the greatness achieved by ancient Indigenous artists.”

The Met’s leadership says that the 8th-century limestone monuments—one 6.5 feet tall, the other, 9 feet tall—represent a broader transformation that’s been happening at the museum in recent years. There have been challenges, too, from a spate of high-profile curatorial departures to a $150 million revenue shortfall that the museum plans to address in part through controversial deaccessioning. (That process is progressing, we reveal, with the help of a high-profile market figure). 

Earlier this week, I caught up with Hollein to take stock of the past 18 months and what is in store for the nation’s most closely watched art institution. 

Felipe Aguilar, Guatemala's Minister of Culture and Sports, at left, and Max Hollein. © Metropolitan Museum of Art 2019, photography Wilson Santiago.

Felipe Aguilar, Guatemala’s Minister of Culture and Sports, at left, and Max Hollein. © Metropolitan Museum of Art 2021, photography Wilson Santiago.

Athena is gone and Lady Six Sky has entered the Great Hall. What was the impetus to replace the Greek goddess with an ancient Maya queen? 

Athena was a loan from Berlin, and it needed to go back at some point, so we felt now was the time to make that change. It was important for us to show in the Great Hall not only the Greek and Roman manifestation as a birthplace of culture, but also Mesoamerica.

The two stelae are, in a sense, great signals and ambassadors for what is happening at the Met in the next couple of years. There’s a major show that we are preparing on Mayan culture, but maybe more importantly, the transformation and complete renewal of the Rockefeller wing, which holds very important collections of objects from Mesoamerica.

With the ongoing reckoning over race and inequality, what’s the role of an encyclopedic museum such as the Met?

This is a major topic for us. The Met, like any other museum of a similar size or scope, has history embedded in the institution. We saw in the last 18 months, through Black Lives Matter, a new reckoning with history in America, in a way that probably America, in that context, has not experienced before. And we have to be part of that by scrutinizing our own history, our own institutional biases. If you come to the museum right now, we have re-installed the mezzanine floor that we use for the contemporary collection. You will see recent acquisitions from the last probably three years; there’s a significant diversity of artists, with a significant number of Black artists represented. It’s been a priority for the institution. 

Beyond programming, there’s the question of how we make sure that the institution as a whole can become more diverse and welcoming. That means whom we hire, what kind of positions we develop. In the curatorial area, we hired our first curator for Indigenous art. We established a position of chief diversity officer. 

People walk through galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

People walk through galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Met has now been open for a year at reduced capacity. How has the pandemic affected your programming? 

When we were able to reopen, it was important for us to create an environment where our visitors feel safe, where our staff feels safe, but also to provide a very welcoming and decisive experience, especially for the New Yorkers, because at that time that was really our audience.  

We made the decision not to say, “Well, if only half of the people can visit us, if we don’t have any tourists, we want to only have a reduced program.”

If you think about the Jacob Lawrence show, “Making the Met,” the Costume Institute, the facade commission… just recently we had Alice Neel. We want to make sure that we aren’t doing exhibitions just because things look beautiful, but because they are bringing you into a more complex understanding of the world. Our shows are becoming more charged, more loaded, filled with different opinions, broader discourse. Like the Medici show [“The Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512–1570”], [which presents] a correlation between art and art-making in propaganda.

What about the shows that are coming up?

The Costume Institute’s show, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” is a survey of American fashion based on the quote by Jesse Jackson from the Democratic Convention that America is not the blanket one piece, but a patchwork of many different colors and textures.

“Surrealism Beyond Borders” is an enormously important exhibition this fall. It will show that Surrealism is actually the one “ism” that went totally global as a style and lasted until now. 

And then we will have an exhibition on Walt Disney and his relationship with the decorative arts. We’ll see how much the American audience encountered French decorative arts through the lens of Disney. 

We are also going to present our initiative to create a period room of our time. It will focus on the theme of Afrofuturism. If you look at our period rooms, our most current one is Frank Lloyd Wright, from the early 20th century. So it’s going to be an interesting transformation of our period room program. 

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 27: People wearing face masks visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art as it reopens to members after the pandemic closure, on August 27, 2020 in New York City, NY. (Photo by Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images)

PeopleVisitors in line for the Alice Neel show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on August 27, 2020. (Photo by Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images)

I remember the long, long line of people waiting to get into the Alice Neel show earlier this year. You had limited attendance to maintain social distancing. It was such an eye-opening exhibition, perfectly pitched and a discovery of an incredible, creative life.  How was the attendance?

It was our biggest show in terms of the attendance in the past year. I think it was 179,000 people. There was a big rush at the end. It really resonated with the times and with New York audiences. It showed you not only one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, but also the artist as an activist. 

Did you have an inkling it would be a blockbuster? And how has the concept of a blockbuster show changed during the pandemic?  

I don’t like the term “blockbuster show.” I think that what we are doing is very ambitious shows that ideally reach the widest possible audience. I don’t think you would have labeled [Alice Neel] a blockbuster show, even though it was our most popular show of the year. 

We do close to 50 shows a year—some bigger, some smaller. Each of them is an outcome not only of our scholarly work, but also of our perspective on what’s relevant right now, what is important to understand. Our projections of how many people can visit make no difference in regard to whether this is an urgent or important show. 

Banner for "Alice Neel: People Come First" outside the Metropolitan Museum. Photo by Ben Davis.

Banner for “Alice Neel: People Come First” outside the Metropolitan Museum. Photo by Ben Davis.

Several prominent curators left the museum this year. Keith Christiansen, chairman of the Department of European Paintings, just retired. Then there’s Helen Evans, a longtime curator of dazzling Byzantine shows, and most recently, “Armenia!” and Doug Eklund, who organized the groundbreaking “Pictures Generation” show in 2009. Is this a generational shift, or house cleaning?

We have about 140 curators, and, more often than not, a lot of them stay at the museum for a long time, which is great. Of course, it’s important for an institution to move people within the institution—up and forward. And basically, that’s what’s happening. 

Keith, as you know, did the great Medici show and then retired. He had a long, long career and was planning to retire. And then Doug made a conscious decision that he wants to move on. But I don’t see any of that being connected with any kind of transformation or change. It’s an evolutionary process.  

The Met's Modern and contemporary galleries. From left to right: Amy Sherald, <i>When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be (Self-imagined atlas)</i> (2018); K.G. Subramanyan, <i>Studio Table With Figure I</i> (1965); Kerry James Marshall, <i>Untitled (Studio</i> (2014); Stanley Whitney, <i>Fly the Wild</i> (2017); Center vitrine: Ron Nagle, <i>Watermelon</i> (1983); <i>Contessa</i> (1983); <i>Untitled</i> (1991). Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Met’s Modern and contemporary galleries. From left to right: Amy Sherald, When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be (Self-imagined atlas) (2018); K.G. Subramanyan, Studio Table With Figure I (1965); Kerry James Marshall, Untitled (Studio (2014); Stanley Whitney, Fly the Wild (2017); Center vitrine: Ron Nagle, Watermelon (1983); Contessa (1983); Untitled (1991). Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Met has an active acquisition program. But it is also planning to deaccession art, taking advantage of the two-year window, through April 2022, during which the Association of Art Museum Directors has permitted members to sell art in order to raise money for collection care as opposed to only for acquisitions. Can you fill me in on the latest about your deaccessioning plans?

I have to say one thing just to avoid any misunderstanding. We are not intending to sell any works to create [acquisition] funds to acquire new [artwork]. We have significant endowment funds that are earmarked just for acquisitions. During the pandemic, when the AAMD loosened the guidelines, it’s useful for any institution to consider—in our case, not only because our collection is so vast, but because even in a year when we might have a significant operational budget deficit, we still have significant funds with which to acquire art through our endowments. So it seems appropriate to use the proceeds of our regular deaccession program to support salaries for collection care staff in this exceptional year. And that’s what we are doing. 

The Met is projecting a $150 million revenue shortfall over two years. Are you planning to sell $150 million worth of art?  

No, no! The magnitude of our deaccessioning program differs from year to year, but it’s around $10 million. The works we use for deaccessioning are duplicates, multiples, copies of the same thing [we have] in better quality. We have identified a couple of the works.  

Can you tell me which works you’ve identified?

No, we will announce that as part of the process. It’s going to be a normal process and normal object selection.

Installation view of The Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512–1570, on view June 26–October 11, 2021 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Photo by Hyla Skopitz, Courtesy of The Met

Installation view of The Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512–1570, on view June 26–October 11, 2021 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Photo by Hyla Skopitz, Courtesy of The Met

I heard that one of the people who is advising you on the deaccessioning is Tobias Meyer, a private art dealer and former star auctioneer at Sotheby’s, whose clients include billionaire collectors Ken Griffin and David Geffen.

In every acquisition and deaccessioning, we use the best expertise that we have and we can get. Tobias is not only someone who is engaged with the museum on multiple fronts, but we use his expertise in different ways. He’s on the visiting committee for European sculpture and painting and has been a donor of work, helpful in identifying the works we might want to acquire, and also advising on the works we might consider for deaccessioning.

NFTs have been such a big story this year, in terms of the technology’s impact on the market, art community, and artistic production. Will the Met be minting NFTs anytime soon or adding them to its collection?   

It’s an interesting development, but it’s not our role to be the first emergency responder to the newest trends in art and society. We’ll see where that develops, and at some point, I’m sure there will be a work that could be part of the Met’s collection. But currently there’s nothing on the horizon for us. And we are not creating any NFTs. 

The underlying blockchain technology is something that will transform a lot of areas: how we do business, how we create authentication records, and probably also provenance, databases, et cetera. So, in that sense, blockchain technology is extremely relevant and important for us.

Chuck Close, Lou Reed from his "Subway Portraits" at the 86th stop on the new 2nd Avenue subway line. Courtesy of Governor Cuomo's office.

Chuck Close, Lou Reed from his “Subway Portraits” at the 86th stop on the new 2nd Avenue subway line. Courtesy of Governor Cuomo’s office.

Let’s talk about the low-tech stuff, like wall text. Artist Chuck Close died two weeks ago. He spent the final years in the shadow of sexual harassment allegations. The Met owns many of his paintings. None are on view at the moment. Do you plan to show his work again, and will the wall text reflect the accusations? 

Our Chuck Close portrait of artist Lucas Samaras has been hanging for the last couple of years [until March]. You do need to make a differentiation between the artwork and the life of an artist. Where these two get completely intertwined, it’s important to acknowledge the complexities. 

I don’t want to only talk about Chuck Close, but in general the idea that you can only look at an artist’s work where the life of the artist is impeccable seems absurd. It would be a really complex way to look at it.

We love seeing Caravaggio’s work; it’s so powerful and extreme. On the other hand, of course, he was a convicted murderer and had to flee from [Rome]. So, one has to be very careful. If the artwork came into existence or is part of the allegation or misdeed, then you have a different situation. But if you have a portrait by Chuck Close of Richard Serra then it’s different. 

And changing the subject a bit, it is on the other hand also really important that the artwork itself can be disruptive and challenging, even morally challenging. I keep using the example of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film Salo because it really shook me when I first saw it. It deals with fascism on the level that no other work does. And, of course, Pasolini led a complex life. But I think it’s an absolute masterpiece that needs to be shown. 

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Conservators at the Met Have Discovered a Hidden Composition Under Jacques Louis David’s Portrait of a Famed Chemist


In 2019, Jacques Louis David’s famed neoclassical portrait of chemist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier and his wife, Marie Anne, was sent to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s conservation lab. The job was straightforward—the removal of a varnish. But in the process, researchers discovered something else, too: a hidden composition under the painting.

The painting we know depicts the Lavoisiers as assiduous leaders of a scientific revolution. A humbly attired Marie Anne leans over her husband, who is seated at a red-swathed table, hard at work before a bevy of specialized instruments. 

Jacques-Louis David, <i>Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743–1794) and Marie-Anne Lavoisier (Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze, 1758–1836)</i> (1788). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Jacques Louis David, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743–1794) and Marie Anne Lavoisier (Marie Anne Pierrette Paulze, 1758–1836) (1788). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

But after months of analysis—via such techniques as infrared reflectography and macro X-ray fluorescence mapping—experts learned that David’s original painting of Lavoisier and his wife was far less flattering, depicting the couple as well-heeled members of the nobility, luxuriating in their lavish lifestyle. In the artist’s original sketch, the instruments are gone, the table is bare and inlaid with gilt brass details, and Marie Anne dons a swanky plumed hat. 

The restored painting has now been returned to the Met’s neoclassical galleries. It looks like it always has, but its context has changed.

“The revelations about Jacques Louis David’s painting completely transform our understanding of the centuries-old masterpiece,” said Max Hollein, director of the Met, in a statement. “More than 40 years after the work first entered the museum’s collection, it is thrilling to gain new insights into the artist’s creative process and the painting’s evolution.”

Left: a map showing the combined elemental distribution of lead and mercury in David's painting. Right: an infrared reflectogram of the canvas.

Left: a map showing the combined elemental distribution of lead and mercury in David’s painting. Right: an infrared reflectogram of the canvas. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Born in 1743, Lavoisier was responsible for a number of major contributions to modern science, including the metric system, the first table of elements, and the discovery of oxygen and hydrogen. His wife, born in 1758, was instrumental to many of these innovations, often assisting Lavoisier with tests. 

However, with his success, Lavoisier was also firmly entrenched in France’s Ancien Régime, the dominant system of rule upended by the revolution in the last decade of the 18th century. During that period, he was arrested by for his complicity as a tax collector, and eventually executed via guillotine in May 1794.

David’s 6-by-9 foot portrait was completed in 1788, just prior to the revolution. The artist intended to debut the work at a salon in 1789 but, according to the Met, he was convinced to pull the fawning tribute at the last minute by royal authorities, who were alarmed by rising tensions pointing to the coming overthrow. The painting wasn’t seen by the public until a century later, at the Exposition Universelle of 1889.

Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743–1794) and Marie Anne Lavoisier (Marie Anne Pierrette Paulze, 1758–1836) was purchased for the Met in 1977 by philanthropists Charles and Jayne Wrightsman.

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9 Events for Your Art Calendar This Week, From a Show of Cringeworthy Art to a Christie’s Conference on NFTs


Each week, we search for the most exciting and thought-provoking shows, screenings, and events. In light of the global health crisis, we are currently highlighting events in person and digitally, as well as in-person exhibitions open in the New York area. See our picks from around the world below. (Times are all EST unless otherwise noted.)

 

Monday, July 12 and Tuesday, July 13

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Manhattanhenge (2001), sunset looking down 34th Street. One of two days when the sunset is exactly aligned with the grid of streets in Manhattan. Photo ©Neil deGrasse Tyson, courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Manhattanhenge (2001), sunset looking down 34th Street. One of two days when the sunset is exactly aligned with the grid of streets in Manhattan. Photo ©Neil deGrasse Tyson, courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History.

1. “Manhattanhenge” in New York City

The four-times-a-year phenomenon that is Manhattanhenge, when the setting sun aligns with the city’s street grid, was rained out over Memorial Day Weekend, but we get a second chance at this eminently photographable event this week. For the best Instagram fodder, post up on the east side about a half hour before sunset, and be sure that whatever street you’re on aligns with the grid—if you can’t see through to New Jersey, find a different block!

Location: Crossstreets in Manhattan
Price:
Free
Time:
Monday 8:20 p.m.; Tuesday, 8:21 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone

 

Wednesday, July 14

"Nrityagram: Samhāra Revisited" at the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo by Stephanie Berger.

“Nrityagram: Samhāra Revisited” at the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo by Stephanie Berger.

2. “Women and the Critical Eye: The Intersection of Performance and Art” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

This edition of the Met’s annual “Women and the Critical Eye” series features a conversation on the intersection of performance and art with Sarah Arison, board chair of the National YoungArts Foundation; dancer and choreographer Bijayini Satpathy; and Met Modern art assistant curator Lauren Rosati, moderated by Limor Tomer, general manager of Live Arts at the Met.

Price: Free registration, but donation suggested
Time: 5:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone

 

Thursday, July 15

Representation of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible token. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Representation of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible token. Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

3. “Christie’s Art and Tech Summit: NFTs and Beyond” at Christie’s 

In the wake of its $69 million Beeple sale, Christie’s continues to explore the NFT art space with its Art and Tech Summit, an annual one-day conference. The schedule includes topics like “NFT’s Impact on the Art Market: Democratization, Monetization, Emergence, and Sustainability” and “Creating Technology for the Metaverse.” Speakers include leading NFT artists such as Mad Dog Jones (now Canada’s most-expensive living artist, thanks to his recent Phillips sale), crypto art collector Justin Sun (who has also ventured into more traditional fine art trophies), and software engineer and NFT collector Tim Kang (who has launched a nonprofit to help artists mint NFTs).

Location: Christie’s, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, New York
Price:
$250 in person/$100 virtual
Time: 9 a.m.

—Sarah Cascone

 

Opening Thursday, July 15

The Museum of Chinese in America. Image courtesy of Ajay Suresh via Flickr

The Museum of Chinese in America. Image courtesy of Ajay Suresh via Flickr

4. “Responses: Asian American Voices Resisting the Tides of Racism” at the Museum of Chinese in America

After more than a year of shuttered operations and a five-alarm fire at its collections space, the museum’s main space will reopen with a show on the historical roots of anti-Asian and anti-Asian American Pacific Islander racism from the earliest days of U.S. history. The exhibition is the culmination of the museum’s year-long “OneWorld COVID-19 Special Collection” initiative that gathered submissions of creative, artistic, and public responses to the tumultuous events of 2020 and ’21. Art, essays, videos, music, and physical artifacts were donated by people from across the U.S. and Asian diaspora.

Location: Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre Street, New York
Price: 
General admission: $12; seniors, military, educators, students and children two and over $8; members, free
Time: Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday–Thursday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

—Eileen Kinsella

 

Thursday, July 15–Friday, August 27

Ron Tarver, <em>David's Last Ride</em> (1996), detail. Courtesy of Chart Gallery.

Ron Tarver, David’s Last Ride (1996), detail. Courtesy of Chart Gallery.

5. “Horses?” at Chart Gallery

When confronted with the essential question of “What is art?” 30 Rock‘s Jack Donaghy did not have to think long to respond. “We know what art is,” he said. “It’s paintings of horses!”

While Donaghy’s definition—which he later expanded to also include “ships with sails” and “men holding up swords while staring off into the distance”—is a little narrow, it’s true, there has been a ton of great art made about our equine friends. Chart, the gallery opened in Tribeca in 2019 by Clara Ha, celebrates this long history with a show called “Horses?” that celebrates the presence of the steed across media. Patricia Cronin’s large installation Tack Room (1997-2021) will be staged at the gallery nearly 25 years after debuting at White Columns, and will feature an entire barn locker room peppered on the walls with postcards of horse-centric works by Delacroix and Degas. And Will Cotton’s work appears—the guy can paint a pretty fantastic gigantic pink unicorn, believe you me.

Elsewhere, Ron Carver’s photos document the culture and history of black cowboys in Philadelphia and East Texas, while David Wojnarowicz snaps a male sex worker dressed as a hat-clad John Wayne type to dig at the idea of the cowboy as a hyper-straight trope. The idea of the “horse girl” is toyed with in Laurel Nakadate’s self-aware on-saddle self-portraits. And, of course, there’s a contribution from Susan Rothenberg, the late artist who spent decades exploring and abstracting the horse as symbol and shape. Clearly, this summer group show isn’t held back all that much by sticking to one subject. Maybe Jack Donaghy was right. Here’s to hoping for a ships-with-sails group show before the summer ends.

Location: Chart gallery, 74 Franklin Street, New York
Price:
Free
Time: Monday–Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

—Nate Freeman

 

Though Sunday, July 18

Isaac Peifer, White Boy Summer (2020). Courtesy of THNK1994.

Isaac Peifer, White Boy Summer (2020). Courtesy of THNK1994.

6. “Cringe: Portraits from the Pandemic by Isaac Peifer” at THNK1994

Isaac Peifer’s painted portraits of celebrities are all a little off in an uncanny valley sort of way. It’s as if they were copied from an iPhone covered in vaseline. There are practical reasons for this: the artist just started painting in 2019, for one, and most of his canvases are completed in one sitting—a hyper-reactive form of making that echoes the here-today-gone-tomorrow nature of the artist’s meme-orable subjects.

But the distortions are thematic, too: “My use of portraiture is a commentary on the role notoriety, disgrace, and ‘cringe’ increasingly play in capturing public interest (however briefly) in the digital age,” the artist wrote in a statement for his new show at THNK1994, a roving gallery now operating out of a residential building’s basement in Chinatown.

Each of Peifer’s paintings in the show was made during lockdown—and it’s obvious. On view are portraits of people that, for better or worse (usually for worse), dominated our timelines at various points in the last year: Chet Hanks, Ghislaine Maxwell, Anna Delvey. “Cringe” is the name of the exhibition; it’s also a description of what you’ll probably do upon seeing the work therein.

Location: THNK1994, 9 Monroe Street, basement
Price:
Free
Time: Friday–Sunday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.

—Taylor Dafoe

 

Adolph Gottlieb, <em>Black and White On Pressed Wood</em> (1950). Photo © Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation/licensed by VAGA at ARS, N.Y., courtesy of Pace East Hampton.

Adolph Gottlieb, Black and White On Pressed Wood (1950). Photo © Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation/licensed by VAGA at ARS, N.Y., courtesy of Pace East Hampton.

7. “Thomas Nozkowski” and “Adolph Gottlieb” at Pace, East Hampton

New Yorkers who have decamped to the Hamptons for the summer can enjoy a pair of solo shows at the Pace outpost, featuring Thomas Nozkowski and Adolph Gottlieb. The former offers never-before-seen abstract, colorful paintings on paper; the latter features eight pictographs by Gottlieb, a pioneering Abstract Expressionist who spent much of his later years, beginning in the 1960s, living and working in East Hampton.

Location: Pace, 68 Park Place, East Hampton
Price:
Free
Time: Tuesday—Saturday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m.–5 p.m.

—Tanner West

 

Through Sunday, August 1

Mark Van Wagner, <em>Greenie</em> (2020). Photo courtesy of Marquee Projects.

Mark Van Wagner, Greenie (2020). Photo courtesy of Marquee Projects.

8. “John Perreault and Mark Van Wagner” at Marquee Projects, Bellport, New York

Beverly Allan Starke and gallery owner Mark Van Wagner co-curated the inaugural exhibition at Bellport’s Marquee Projects, with a retrospective of work from the late artist, poet, and art critic John Perreault. Now, Starke has convinced Van Wagner to show his work in conversation with pieces by his friend. She’s paired Perreault’s “Scratch Paintings”—made by applying white acrylic paint to insulation panels and scraping it off to created abstract line drawings— with Van Wagner’s “Sandboxes” sculptures, made from recycled cardboard boxes covered in beach sand.

Location: Marquee Projects, 14 Bellport Lane, Bellport
Price:
Free
Time: Thursday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone

 

Through Saturday, August 21

Benjamin Langford’s flowers are installed on the walls of the gallery's courtyard in "但聞人語響:Yet, Only Voice Echoed" at Fu Qiumeng Fine Art. Photo courtesy of Fu Qiumeng Fine Art.

Benjamin Langford’s flowers are installed on the walls of the gallery’s courtyard in “但聞人語響:Yet, Only Voice Echoed” at Fu Qiumeng Fine Art. Photo courtesy of Fu Qiumeng Fine Art.

9. “但聞人語響:Yet, Only Voice Echoed” at Fu Qiumeng Fine Art, New York

Our colleague Cathy Fan, editor-in-chief of Midnight Publishing Group News China, is the curator of this group photography show featuring work by Michael Cherney, Lois Conner, Shen Wei, Su Jiehao, Cheng Ronghui, and Benjamin Langford. The unifying theme is imagery drawn from Tang Dynasty poem “Deer Enclosure,” by Wang Wei, an ode to the beautiful scenery of a mountain with a deer pen, which lends the show its title. Like the poem, the photographs in the show don’t have a narrative, instead capturing the sensory experience of a given moment, like Langford’s larger than life sculptural prints of flowers and fruits.

Location: Fu Qiumeng Fine Art, 65 East 80th Street, New York
Price:
 Free
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone

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Are NFTs a Shrinking Market or the Next Amazon? Kenny Schachter Wages War With Crypto-Cynics and One Irksome NFT Terrorist


Joshua Decter is a “writer, curator, theorist, educator, and editor” who really, really loathes NFTs, so much so he has been engaged in a months-long, cross-platform attack against me on everything from Twitter to Instagram, culminating in his threat last week to have his beef with me spill over onto the streets of New York. (He’s certainly not the first—or last presumably—to threaten to beat me up.) Decter is adamant that NFTs are divorced from art and exist as nothing more than a debased cryptocurrency scam. I am sorry to persist in pushing back on this, but his wholesale dismissal is entirely misplaced. He also happens to be the author of a 2013 book entitled Art Is a Problem. I’d suggest the real problem is more likely his intemperate machismo and childish, obstinate shortsightedness.

Let’s make something abundantly clear, once and (one hopes) for all: People think of NFTs as a thinly veiled currency (at best), which couldn’t be further from the truth. That became all too clear with the rapid rise of Ethereum, which all but violently thwarted NFT sales as the art couldn’t compete with the underlying crypto it’s traded in. To illustrate, the closing price of ETH on March 11th, the day of Beeple’s Christie’s sale was $1,826; since then, on May 11, ETH hit a high of $4,178. (As I write its fluctuating around $3,800.) If Vignesh Sundaresan (aka Metakovan) kept his hand off his keyboard during the frenzied Beeple bidding war, the 37,787 ETH he purchased it with—the equivalent of $69 million then—would have reached a high of $157,876,232 less than two months after his prescient (eye roll) acquisition! Regardless of ETHs trajectory, I’d hazard a guess that the present actual value of Beeple’s best is less than $10 million.

Video killed the radio star and NFTs killed the NFT star—by fueling ETH inflation. NiftyGateway, the highest-profile NFT platform, is cancelling hundreds of drops due to the fact that the torrent of content creation isn’t commensurate with today’s shrinking marketplace. (Incidentally, I have my do-or-die third NiftyGateway release coinciding with publication of this article. Fingers crossed.)

 

“The Hoarder” is included in Kenny Schachter’s NiftyGateway drop.

Larva Labs, programmers of 10,000 unique CryptoPunks (2017), a group of which fetched $17 million at Christie’s last week, rushed to market with their latest project, 20,000 Meebits, on the back of the Punks’ auction hype. Some complained they were aping “Bored Apes” by the Bored Ape Yacht Club (another collection of 10,000 “unique” NFTs). Are you following? The salient point is that “Meebits” are trading well below their launch price due to the overall constricting of NFT valuations, though creators Matt Hall and John Watkinson did bank another $75 million after their “Punks” auction. It’s revenge of the nerds—on amphetamines.

 

This Meebits video is also included in Kenny Schachter’s Nifty drop.

If you’ve ever seen Midnight Publishing Group News’s ace reporter Nate Freeman about town at a local watering hole, he resembles a throwback to a 1950s-era newshound, often clad in a brown tweed blazer with a notepad in one hand and martini in the other. But when it comes to NFTs, his mindset is as antediluvian as his attire. His Wet Paint column is nothing short of a relentless broadside against digital art and the cryptocurrency that underpins it. He recently complained that the Christie’s CryptoPunks buyer was host of a consortium of investors with a portfolio of Punks. Actually, that’s not altogether different from the Mugrabi clan and their passel of Basquiats, Warhols, Condos, et al.—who also happened to underbid on Urs Fischer’s recent NFT drop on Loïc Gouzer’s Fair Warning auction app. At least they have the foresight to adapt to a changing technologically enabled world, unlike my esteemed Midnight Publishing Group colleague.

Similarly, Tim Schneider, of Midnight Publishing Group News Pro’s The Gray Market recently authored a column headed: “Why NFTs Aren’t the Solution to Museums’ Deaccessioning Dilemmas or Any Other Big Problems, Either.” That was before the storied Uffizi Gallery in Florence sold an NFT of the Michelangelo painting “Doni Tondo” (1505-06) for €140,000 ($170,000). Not to gloat, but… I have been saying for ages (most recently in Austria’s Der Standard newspaper), that museums should sell NFTs alongside posters and postcards instead of deaccessioning art. Max Hollein, the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, whom I count as a friend (and who I hope won’t be offended), said in an interview that NFT deals are primarily propaganda for speculating in cryptocurrencies. He might reconsider before commencing a deaccessioning campaign of his own.

When it comes to NFTs, as Katharina Rustler of <em>Der Standard</em> interpreted it, “Grab chance by the eggs!" Courtesy of Kenny Schachter.

When it comes to NFTs, as Katharina Rustler of Der Standard interpreted it, “Grab chance by the eggs!” Courtesy of Kenny Schachter.

It’s not just Old Masters teaching the new by taking a lead in combating the staggering loss of revenues that COVID has wrought on art institutions, but commercial stalwarts like Art Basel and even eBay are getting in on the NFT game. Bitsky (Banksy’s Russian cousin?) is yet another startup that just raised $19 million from the likes of Serena Williams and Jay-Z, led by Marc Andreessen (who bears a striking resemblance to a Conehead of “Saturday Night Live” fame) of Andreessen Horowitz, a $16.6 billion tech fund that has cemented a chokehold on the NFT market, indicating a fervently bullish long-term view. (They’ve also been throwing gasoline on the NFT speculation fire through Clubhouse, the live convo app they’re backing that seems to host a different NFT hypefest every 10 minutes.) Bitski, for its part, is meant to employ a rudimentary consumer interface, creating ease for the crafting of NFTs payable by credit card and sidestepping the fear and hesitancy of crypto-cynics.

German art royalty: Johann Koenig (who’s got a few new ideas up his sleeve when it comes to role of art dealer) and Daniel Hug, director of Art Cologne, which is coming up in November’s return to normalcy. Courtesy of Kenny Schachter.

German art royalty: Johann Koenig (who’s got a few new ideas up his sleeve when it comes to role of art dealer) and Daniel Hug, director of Art Cologne, which is coming up in November’s return to normalcy. Courtesy of Kenny Schachter.

Bafflingly, it is the historically staid auction houses, instead of galleries, that have been at the forefront of acclimating to the changing landscape of the art world vis-à-vis technological innovation. Except, that is, for Johann König and Nagel Draxler—at whose Cologne gallery I curated “Breadcrumbs: Art in the Age of NFTism,” through August 21. König has gone as far as staging auctions and initiating his own platform with Dapper Labs— the marketplace known for CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot Moments—to sell NFTs, while also potentially offering fractionalized ownership opportunities for emerging artworks, just like the wildly popular stock-trading app Robinhood does for meme stocks. I asked Johann, “What are you trying to be with all this frenetic activity?” He replied, without missing a beat: “Amazon!” The question of whether (or not) there is a mass public business for art rivaling Apple and Alibaba remains to be seen.

Here’s a video starring a Paul Thek that is part of Kenny Schachter’s NiftyGateway drop.

Christian Nagel, for his part, is a pillar of the German gallery scene, having opened his first space in Munich in 1986 and, four years later, in Cologne, where he began exhibiting works by the likes of Martin Kippenberger, Franz West, Günther Förg, Michael Krebber, Cosima von Bonin, Andrea Fraser, Charline von Heyl, and Martha Rosler. Saskia Draxler, a philosopher and cultural critic, joined as a partner in 2009. As far as NFTs? Nagel informed me that, were it not for a Clubhouse chatroom when a critic questioned the gallery’s commitment (or rather antipathy) to crypto art, I wouldn’t have found myself in Cologne curating what might well be the first meatspace NFT art show in a conceptual art gallery.

Nagel Draxler gallerist Christian Nagel and me in my new show. Courtesy of Kenny Schachter.

Nagel Draxler gallerist Christian Nagel and me in my new show. Courtesy of Kenny Schachter.

The exhibitions itself is indistinguishable from a non-NFT show inasmuch as there is an installation-based framework upon which photos, computer printouts, paintings, and objects are presented—but it will have a parallel expression as a series of Non-Fungible Token drops, which will follow on OpenSea in the coming weeks. The artists range from such pioneers in the NFT space as R. Myers, Max Osiris, Dot Pigeon, Kevin Abosch, Robness, Osinachi, Ruylton Fyder, Sarah Friend, Olive Allen, and Anna Ridler, commingled with regulars on the contemporary gallery circuit like Tracey Emin, Darren Bader, Eva Beresin, Theo Triantafyllidis, and Koichi Sato (and me, of course!). The imprimatur of the venerated gallery Nagel Draxler is as significant as any of the participating artists in the exhibit, as the embrace of NFTs in such a context speaks volumes about their acceptance, legitimacy, and credibility.

In other news, I received an actual (if unusual) ransom letter last week from Alfred Itchcock, the buyer of the NFT I helped Jerry Saltz release for charity last month. In it, Itchcock stated this was nothing less than an act of digital terrorism and threatened to shred Jerry’s “The First 10,000” unless Saltz engaged in some specific acts regarding the smart contract accompanying his NFT that would entail paying a transaction fee of anywhere between approximately $2,000 to $10,000. Though it wasn’t entirely clear, the purported intent appeared to teach Saltz a lesson for initially criticizing and dismissing NFTs, and (maybe?) prove they have import and significance beyond the low effort Jerry expended on the creation of his.

The self-proclaimed crypto-tax fixer, sure to be the accounting world's busiest man! Courtesy of Kenny Schachter.

The self-proclaimed crypto-tax fixer, sure to be the accounting world’s busiest man! Courtesy of Kenny Schachter.

In Alfred’s own (semi-legible) words: “A concrete consequence of “The First 10,000” being shred is that it stops being transferable. It’ll be “lost” in a sense that’s very real to people here. Not being transferable means it can’t ever be resold so you’ll never get royalties from secondary sales. Hence NFT terrorism 🙂 I don’t encourage burning/shredding NFTs since it’s unfair to the artist. One exception is when used as a counter-trolling move. “The First 10,000” isn’t shred yet, it can still be recovered by making one single Ethereum transaction. If that doesn’t happen by May 28 then surely it’ll be shred and lost forever. Luv you all, Best! Alfred”

He closed with line: “DONT PUT YOUR PRIVATE KEYS IN THE WRONG PLACE.” (Thanks for the heads-up, Alfred!) I responded with my inimitable diplomatic brusqueness, the sentiment of which Jerry was fully aligned with: “We wouldn’t pay 5 cents to save this NFT, so your point (whatever that may be) is moot. Knock yourself out and have a ball.” So long “The First 10,000”… till the next. This encounter affirmed one thing for sure: techies are weird.

An article on Paul Thek was published in The University Chicago Journal quoting the artist from 1965: “The world was falling apart, anyone could see it, I was a wreck, the block was a wreck, the city was a wreck; and I’d go to a gallery and there would be a lot of fancy people looking at a lot of stuff that didn’t say anything about anything to anyone.” At present, the world is a wreck. No, NFTism isn’t going to affect things in the big (or little) scheme of things overall—but art may very well instill a greater sense of empathy and humanism, so sorely missed across the globe in the face of war, Covid, and hatred. I am simply a proponent of more artistic expression and communication in whatever form pleases, and less irrational judgments and actions to the contrary.

 

This is some kind of commercial for Kenny’s Nifty drop, and it’s also included in Kenny’s Nifty drop.

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Sculptor Alex Da Corte Brought a Bright Blue Big Bird to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Rooftop—See Images Here


In the 1985 film Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird, Big Bird gets kidnapped by a traveling circus. Its owners paint him blue, cage him, and force him to sing the song “I’m So Blue” for their audience.

Thankfully, Big Bird seems to have made his escape in Alex Da Corte‘s new roof garden commission for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He perches in all his feathered glory atop a crescent moon and clutches a ladder as he floats through space, balanced atop a fully functioning Alexander Calder-style mobile. The ladder suggests that he is not stranded, and that he has the ability to end his isolation.

“It’s a surrogate for where we are collectively at this moment, kind of contemplating a future and not knowing what we’re facing—really, a sense of vulnerability,” Shanay Jhaveri, the museum’s assistant curator of international Modern and contemporary art, told Midnight Publishing Group News. “It’s about this idea of looking out at new horizons.”

The sculpture, As Long as the Sun Lasts, is named for a Italo Calvino’s short story about intergalactic travelers searching for a planet to call home.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view. Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Alex began the project at the height of the pandemic,” Jhaveri said. “He thought the work should speak to the future and also encapsulate our own sense of vulnerability and confronting uncertainty.”

The 40-year-old artist chose to paint Big Bird’s feathers blue not only because of the Sesame Street film, but also in reference to the Muppet’s Brazilian cousin, Garibaldo, which Da Corte watched as a child in Venezuela, as well as the color’s traditional associations with sadness.

The piece’s melancholic feel is offset with a sense of whimsy, with the base of the mobile built to look like the interlocking plastic walls of a Little Tykes Outdoor Activity Gym—another ’80s relic. It’s signed with Da Corte’s take on Calder’s signature monogram, and the number 69, in reference to the year of the moon landing, the first episode of Sesame Street, and when Da Corte’s father immigrated to the U.S.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Alex wanted to touch upon the liveliness and the unpredictability that is so much at the heart of Calder’s practice, but also the playfulness,” Jhaveri said.

Fabricating the piece was a challenge, from producing Big Bird’s 7,000 individually placed aluminum feathers to achieving the perfect balance of the mobile, which spins gently in the breeze.

“It was very important that it had to move, but not be mechanized,” Jhaveri said. “It had to be something that  responded to the air currents and moved intermittently, because in life, things happen intermittently—it’s not instant.”

See more photos of the work below.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view. Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view. Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view. Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view. Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view. Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view. Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view. Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view. Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view. Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view. Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view. Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view. Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Anna-Marie Kellen, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view. Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view. Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts for the 2021 Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, installation view (detail). Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“The Roof Garden Commission: Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts” is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, April 16–October 31, 2021. 

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