Met announces 2024 Art Commissions, including Lee Bul, sculptor of cyborgs
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Sunday, July 14, 2024

Met announces 2024 Art Commissions, including Lee Bul, sculptor of cyborgs
The sculptor Nairy Baghramian in her studio in Berlin on July 13, 2023. (Mustafah Abdulaziz/The New York Times)

by Zachary Small

NEW YORK, NY.- The Metropolitan Museum of Art has selected three international artists for commissions that will showcase contemporary art’s capacity for “earned optimism,” organizers said.

On Wednesday, the museum announced that Kosovo-born artist Petrit Halilaj will take over the museum’s Roof Garden in April with a meditation on conflict; South Korean sculptor Lee Bul will transform the facade in September with futuristic statues; and Taiwanese artist Tong Yang-Tze will design two new works of calligraphy featuring classical Chinese texts for the Great Hall in November.

“Art has to be a form of communication,” said David Breslin, curator in charge of the modern and contemporary art department. “It has to embed within itself a form of critique, but it is also a form of optimism for how we can relate to each other.”

The facade and Great Hall commissions are the first projects at the Met to bear Breslin’s fingerprints. He joined the museum last year, but the majority of his time is being spent on the development of a new wing for the collection that carries an estimated cost of $500 million. He succeeds Sheena Wagstaff, who favored exhibitions that connected art historical threads across continents. The new commissions hint that Breslin might follow her lead.

In fact, the Halilaj exhibition started development under Wagstaff. The artist’s work is deeply rooted in biography, recalling his experience as a child refugee through the 1990s during the brutal fighting in Kosovo as part of the breakup of Yugoslavia. For a recent exhibition, he restaged drawings he had completed during that period as massive set pieces inside a gallery. For the Met Museum’s Roof Garden, he is planning to further explore questions of displacement and history.

“Petrit is a true scenographer of collective memories linked to his homeland,” said Iria Candela, the Met curator working on the project. “He is a master at bridging that gap, and at juggling memories and imagination as equally fragile.”

The last artist to create an exhibition on the Roof Garden was Lauren Halsey, who installed a monument to friends and family from her Los Angeles neighborhood in the style of an ancient Egyptian temple. Before her, Philadelphia artist Alex Da Corte presented a satirical image of Big Bird from “Sesame Street” swinging on an Alexander Calder mobile.

For the museum’s Fifth Avenue facade, which currently hosts a series of sculptures by Nairy Baghramian, officials said they quickly reached a consensus on who the next artist would be when Lee’s name was mentioned.

Lee is regarded as one of South Korea’s leading artists. She came to prominence during the 1980s, when she staged performances denouncing restrictions on women’s rights in her country. Her practice later transformed into glittering installations and cyborgian sculptures that addressed the dystopian nature of progress. And though her work is the frequent subject of exhibitions in European and Asian museums, her presentation of four sculptures in the niches of the Met facade will mark her first major project in the United States since her 2002 solo exhibition at the New Museum, where she welcomed audiences into futuristic karaoke pods.

Tong, at 81, is one of the oldest artists to be commissioned by the museum, and this will be her first public commission outside Asia, where her Chinese calligraphy has appeared everywhere from perfume bottles to Taiwan’s official passport stamp. She has become celebrated for connecting the ancient practice of calligraphy with modern art, magnifying character brushstrokes to epic proportions that force viewers to contemplate the size and sweep of her movements.

“We usually understand calligraphy as something scholars and elites enjoyed in their leisure time,” said Lesley Ma, the Met curator who helped conceive of the Great Hall project. “But she enlarged characters in the scale and compositional strategy almost akin to abstract painting.”

Ma observed that visitors next year will pass below Lee’s futuristic sculptures outside the museum, which she also helped plan, before experiencing the two large calligraphy projects wrapped around the Great Hall.

“There will be a sense of wayfinding, orientation and repose,” the curator said.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Today's News

December 4, 2023

Lucy Lacoste Gallery exhibits recently created sculptures and drawings by Janina Myronova

Met announces 2024 Art Commissions, including Lee Bul, sculptor of cyborgs

Exhibition includes works from the years 1961-2000 by Robert Ryman

Morphy's celebrates holiday season with opulent Dec. 18-19 auction of fine and decorative art, luxury goods

Mica Ertegun, glamorous interior designer and philanthropist, dies at 97

Older and wiser, Peter Gabriel is still looking ahead

Maria Callas was opera's defining diva. She still is.

Fine 18th C. furniture with Churchill family provenance highlights Dec. 12-13 auction

John Nichols, author of 'The Milagro Beanfield War,' dies at 83

MoMA PS1 opens first New York museum exhibition of artist Leslie Martinez

Being a woman in magic may be the hardest trick of all

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston opens the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Gallery for Judaica

Andrew Kreps Gallery now represents the Estate of Eileen Agar

Beyoncé the auteur takes center stage in 'Renaissance'

Mennour opens an exhibition of works by Elizabeth Jaeger

Visitation to expanded Art Gallery of New South Wales surpasses 2 million

Marco Brambilla's 'Heaven's Gate' opens today at the Sphere in Las Vegas

James Cohan presents Christopher Myers' immersive ice-skating rink at 99 Scott

L.A. Louver presents an exhibition focused on the color red

Tim Dorsey, who turned Florida's quirks into comic gold, dies at 62

GAM - Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Milano extends solo exhibition by Suzanne Jackson

Stijn Alsteens appointed as director of the Fondation Custodia

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful