Roof Garden Art, The Theater of Disappearance


A visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the roof. Not only do you get an amazing view of Manhattan, you get to explore changing exhibitions. On view until October 29, 2017 is sculptor Adrián Villar RojasThe Theater of Disappearance, a “performative diorama, where banquet tables occupy an oversize black-and-white checkerboard floor punctuated by sculptures that fuse together human figures and artifacts found within the museum. The resulting juxtapositions put forth a radical reinterpretation of museum practices.”

Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas has transformed the Cantor Roof with an intricate site-specific installation that uses the Museum itself as its raw material. Featuring detailed replicas of nearly 100 objects from The Met collection, The Theater of Disappearance encompasses thousands of years of artistic production over several continents and cultures, and fuses them with facsimiles of contemporary human figures as well as furniture, animals, cutlery, and food. Each object—whether a 1,000-year-old decorative plate or a human hand—is rendered in the same black or white material and coated in a thin layer of dust.

The artist has reconfigured the environment of the Cantor Roof by adding a new pergola, a grand tiled floor, a bar, public benches and augmented planting throughout the space. The Met’s own alphabet has even been incorporated into the graphic identity of the project. To realize this extensive work, the artist immersed himself in the Museum and its staff for many months, holding conversations with the curators, conservators, managers, and technicians across every department who contributed to the realization of this installation.

Hidden woman.
Kissing couple.
Man with eels and rock.
Masked man.

In honor of my love of art, and especially Impressionists, check out new Edgar Degas exhibits on Artsy. In addition to Degas’s bio, over 200 of his works, and exclusive articles, you’ll find up-to-date Degas exhibition listings such as The National Gallery in London exhibit Drawn in Colour: Degas from the Burrell, and an upcoming show at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

Related post: Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty

Happy viewing, hon.


"Peacock" chair for Cappellini, 2009, Dror Ben Shetrit, Israeli, felt with powdwer varnished metal base
“Peacock” chair for Cappellini, 2009, Dror Ben Shetrit, Israeli, felt with powdwer varnished metal base
Departures cover, May 2013
Departures cover, May 2013′

Guess what’s featured on Departures‘ May cover? The very same chair whose felt folds intrigued me enough to include them in my recent post “Patterns at the Met.” The flash on my camera washed out the chair’s color, but the distinct design is a show stopper. The Peacock chair was included in the glossy mag’s “Please-be-Seated” layout of “the six most beautiful chairs in the world.”

Back in the day when I was an assistant buyer at Bloomingdale’s, my buyer and I visited a color forecaster to pick yarn colors for our own line of cashmere sweaters. I felt like a kid in a candy shop, only I was surrounded by hundreds of yarn samples with intriguing names. Who wouldn’t want to know how “Bunny Gray” compares to “Feather Gray” and “Gray Timber Wolf”? Picking colors for the next season was as exciting as buying a few of my own lines of women’s clothes. (I’d like to be the person who comes up with color names!)

I left the world of department store retail to research starting my own business. Treks to Manhattan’s fabric district yielded bolts of fabric. A season later, I’d see the same fabric on clothes in stores.

I packed up my business along with that part of my life when I became pregnant with triplets.

But, even though my designs are still sitting in my attic and my aspirations have transformed into something else, a funny thing happened. Those triplets have a knack for picking out trends. One daughter invariably picks out outfits that subsequently appear on  Pretty Young Things in magazines. She once bought an owl necklace at a mall kiosk months before the same necklace became all the rage.

My son considered wearing multi-crayon colored sneakers when all the other seventh grade boys’ sneakers were white and black. (He likes color as much as I do.) I said, “Buy them, they’re fun!  You’ll be a trendsetter.” My hubby thought they were hideous and a magnet for obnoxious comments.  Hmmm, bet you can figure out which sneakers made the cover of the New York Times Style section!

The third triplet, an artist, started her own business selling her designs on IPad and IPod covers as well as pillows and canvases. She’s put a lot of thought into what designs will sell and is constantly working on new designs.

I’m not sure what happened to those trendsetting days and I sure can’t predict if my new aspirations will come to fruition.  But, the Peacock chair opened up the window in my attic where dusty boxes of designs and my past sit, waiting to be cleaned out.

Frozen In Time

Outdoor sculpture at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Outdoor sculpture at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Each of these sculptures stopped me in my tracks.  I was drawn towards their expressions, emotions, muscularity and movement.  The ability to transform bronze and marble into life amazes me. Aside from the sculpture at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the rest reside in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Reaching Jaguar, Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington
Reaching Jaguar, Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington
Jaguar, Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington
Jaguar, Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington
Jaguar from a different angle.
Jaguar from a different angle.
Amor Caritas, Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Amor Caritas, Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Fragilina, Attilio Piccirilli
Fragilina, Attilio Piccirilli

The Line In The Sand


St. Patrick's Day Parade
St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Saturday March 16, my college-aged daughter, her friend visiting from Seattle and I planned to spend a day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.  Another college friend from Westchester would meet us there.  But, we didn’t do our homework.

We guessed the St. Patrick’s Day parade would be the next day, March 17, but we were wrong. The horde of young adults wearing green was the first sign it would be an unusual day.  The second sign was that most of them were drunk.  And it was 11am.

While waiting for an uptown bus, we made small talk with other passengersA line in the sand was drawn.  On one side were the sober people and on the other side were the St. Patrick’s Day revelers.

Cast of characters we met that unusual day.

Vinnie:  Vinnie from Long Island was also going uptown.  Seventy-seven, married and a grandfather, Vinnie was going shopping on Fifth Avenue.  We said we were going to the Met.  “I’ve lived in New York my whole life and I’ve never been there.” (Hard to believe but WHATEVAH!)  Fancy shops on Fifth Avenue came and went.  My daughter, her friend and I exited the bus.  Guess who was right behind us?  Vinnie.  We checked our coats at the Met.  Guess who was right behind us?  Vinnie, again!

First Army Dude:  We caught the tail end of the St. Patty’s Day parade.  An army battalion marched in front of us and I saluted, “Thank you!”  My daughter’s eyes rolled back in her head and her friends cracked up.  One of the army guys called out to us, “You need more to drink!”

Daniel:  Daniel, an intoxicated twenty-something, rode the same bus downtown.  He bragged about his job at J.P. Morgan Chase, his intelligence, how he didn’t finish college and how he reports directly to the CEO, Jamie Dimon.  (Hard to believe but WHATEVAH!)  In a bizarre coincidence, he knew our guest’s sister from Seattle.  Daniel swayed as he sat, got loud and mean and then passed out.

Second Army Dude:  Just as Daniel passed out, an Army dude boarded the bus.  He told me Army statistics, how old his son is and then flashed a pearly white smile, “Now is the time to tell me I don’t look old enough to have a twenty-eight year old!”

Drunken College Guy:  Getting to Penn Station with minutes to spare, we ran to the track along with a crowd.  Immediately, Drunken College Guy spotted my daughter and her friend.  DCG proceeded to slur, “Where do you go to college?”  “Skidmore,” they answered.  “More what?” DCG slurred.  “Skidmore, you know, College,” they said.  “More what?”  DCG slurred again.  (For real?  WHATEVAH!)

We had never met so many “interesting” people in one day.  It had been fun, but we were ready to go home. Then the conductor came by and informed us that we were on the wrong train!  Oy! The right train and the wrong train must have been on adjacent tracks.

We ended up at Newark Liberty International Airport, took an Airtram to the main terminal and got picked up by my hubby.

Thanks, hubby, for the ride and for understanding that you may end up at the airport even if you’re on the sober side of the line!

Patterns at the Met

"Fractal.MGX" table 2007. Gernot Oberfell, Jan Wertel, Matthias Bar, German
“Fractal.MGX” table 2007, Gernot Oberfell, Jan Wertel, Matthias Bar, German, 2007, epoxy resin, polyurethane

One of my teenagers and I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan recently. We finished viewing the Matisse exhibit and came across an exhibit of contemporary furniture and design.  I was taken by the patterns and textures.  Hon, hope you are, too.

"Peacock" chair 2009, Dror Ben Shetrit, Israeli, felt with powdwer varnished metal base
“Peacock” chair, 2009, Dror Ben Shetrit, Israeli, felt with powder varnished metal base
"Alquimia XIII" wall hanging 1984, Olga De Amoral, Columbian, linen, rice paper, gesso, indigo red and gold leaf
“Alquimia XIII” wall hanging, 1984, Olga De Amaral, Columbian, linen, rice paper, gesso, indigo red and gold leaf
"Carlton" room divider 1981, Ettore Sottsass, Italian, wood, plastic laminate
“Carlton” room divider, 1981, Ettore Sottsass, Italian, wood, plastic laminate