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"Stage Fright" by Guillermo Kuitca Opens at Gallery Met
Guillermo Kuitca, Metropolitan Opera, 2004, mixed media on paper, 58 9/16 x 58 5/8 inches (148,7 x 148,9 cm) sheet. Private Collection, New York. Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York. Photo © Tom Powel.

NEW YORK.-As one of the opening events of the Metropolitan Opera's 2007-08 season, the Arnold & Marie Schwartz Gallery Met will present its first exhibition by an individual artist: Stage Fright by Guillermo Kuitca, a leading figure in the world of contemporary art. Organized by Gallery Met Director Dodie Kazanjian, the exhibition features small works on paper, large theater collages, and a series of drawings by the Argentine artist—all of which are new works inspired by opera. Stage Fright opens to the public on September 19 and runs through November 1.

Images from theater and opera have played a prominent role in Guillermo Kuitca’s art since the 1980s. Stage Fright captures the vivid and dramatic experience of being in the theater—either in the audience or on the stage. A collection of Kuitca’s abstract works on paper, titled 32 Seating Plans, was created for the Met’s exhibition and inspired by the seating charts of famous opera houses and theaters around the world, including the Opera Bastille, Palais Garnier, Teatro Colon, La Scala, Covent Garden, and the Metropolitan Opera.

A multiple-part suite of new works on paper, titled The Flying Dutchman, will also be exhibited. These drawings were created from Kuitca’s set design for Wagner’s opera, which was conducted by Charles Dutoit at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, in July 2003. The motif of a conveyor belt is featured in these drawings, which is a recurring theme in Kuitca’s work. The baggage carousel is a symbol of fear and anxiety, the idea of the public and performative action of waiting with anticipation for the arrival of an object. This is a kind of stage in itself.

Guillermo Kuitca was born in 1961 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he continues to live. His work has been exhibited extensively around the world and is in many important public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. A retrospective of his work, co-organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, opens in 2009. He is currently representing his country in this year's Venice Biennale, where he is one of only three artists in both a national pavilion and in Robert Storr's central international Biennale exhibition.

About Gallery Met Director Dodie Kazanjian - Dodie Kazanjian, editor at large for Vogue, has been covering the international art scene since 1989. She has identified and written about many of the most promising young artists—among them Cecily Brown, Maurizio Cattelan, John Currin, and Wangechi Mutu—while also profiling and conducting in-depth interviews with such modern masters as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Cy Twombly. Ms. Kazanjian curated Gallery Met’s inaugural exhibition, “Heroines,” which helped launch the company’s opening night gala events last year. In 2007, she co-chaired the Met’s first “Art for Opera” contemporary art auction, which was held on the Met stage and raised more than $1.8 million to support new opera productions.

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