Metropolitan Opera to create a contemporary art gallery

Via Crain's NY I learn:

The Metropolitan Opera has received a $1 million gift from Marie Schwartz, an advisory director on the Met's board, to fund a new contemporary visual arts gallery being planned for its lobby.

The gallery, which will open Sept. 22, will be called "The Arnold and Marie Schwartz Gallery Met," after Ms. Schwartz and her late husband. Dodie Kazanjian, the art writer for Vogue, has been hired to curate the gallery.

The space will display original works of art with opera themes. Six artists, including Cecily Brown and Barnaby Furnas, have already produced works for the first exhibition.

The Met's press release is here.

It says that the works in the inaugural exhibiton are "inspired by the heroines of the season’s six new productions." They are:

  • Cecily Brown (Suor Angelica in Il Trittico)
  • John Currin (Helena in Die Ägyptische Helena)
  • Barnaby Furnas (Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice)
  • Makiko Kudo (Princess Yue-yang in The First Emperor)
  • Richard Prince (Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly)
  • Sophie von Hellermann (Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia).

Other artists planned for future exhibitions include David Salle, Verne Dawson, George Condo, and Wangechi Mutu.

Let's hope the visual arts programming isn't as conservative and dull as the musical (Tan Dun?) and design decisions have been as long as I've lived in New York. This list doesn't make me jump up and down with excitement, but I would hardly expect the Met to display artists that haven't been endorsed by the market. We wouldn't want the Met patrons exposed to unfamiliar "brands." (I must admit I'm not familiar with Makiko Kudo though.)

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