Posted: Thursday, January 14, 2016
Posted: Monday, December 14, 2015
My residency at The Metropolitan Museum of Art has prompted me to make the opportunities and experiences I have over the year an integral part of both my studio and teaching practices—two elements of my life that I have continuously merged over the years. My goal is to make the interchange between these two elements as seamless as possible, and I have been determined to allow the Met residency to saturate my work and my teaching.
Posted: Tuesday, December 1, 2015
At a recent MetFridays event in the Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, I spoke about prayer rugs (seccades)—not as a scholar of the Islamic arts, but as an artist. In 1997 I started a series of drawings based on my assumptions of what people pray for and why they pray. I eventually turned these drawings into a suite of serigraph prints entitled Ten Prayers that I exhibited, in September 1998, at my first one-man show at the Yapi Kredi Cultural Center's Kazim Taskent Gallery in Istanbul. These works then led to a series of larger "rug" pieces done on rice paper, which combined the motifs I was using in my paintings (masks, birds, skulls, stylized flowers, cosmological symbols, and figures) with the formal structure of Anatolian carpets.
Posted: Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Artists often come to the Museum to look at art and get ideas for their own work, and sometimes they have an opportunity to do much more; Peter Hristoff is one of those artists.
Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015
For the 2015–16 season of live arts, musician Vijay Iyer was named the resident artist—yet another daring performer in a series of resident artists that have pushed the boundaries and reveled in the unexpected here at the Met. As General Manager of Concerts and Lectures Limor Tomer commented, "He is enormously creative and collaborative, and is therefore much greater than any genre definition applied to his musical output." Featuring a number of programs that are extremely collaborative, Iyer's upcoming performances at the Met this season will be no easier to categorize.
Posted: Monday, October 26, 2015
The planning phase of my residency at the Met has given me the opportunity to explore the works on view in greater depth, with a focus on both study and documentation. Since January, I have selected one gallery, curatorial department, or exhibition per visit, with the goal of completing drawings of the objects that interest me. Later, while at work in my studio, I then choose the drawings that I would like to paint. I paint each object on an individual panel, which I then hang, salon-style, on the wall. I am attempting to create My Metropolitan—a monumental work that will be determined ultimately by the length of this residency, to be completed by the end of my tenure here at the Museum.
Posted: Thursday, October 1, 2015
As an artist in residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was recently asked what the Met means to me and about my relationship to the Museum. My professional relationship with the Met began in 1978, during my junior year at the School of Visual Arts. I say "professional" because that was when I, a young art student, first used the Museum as a resource for images to create new work.
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2015
Last winter, the Education Department and the Department of Islamic Art began to research and plan an extended fifteen-month residency with visual artist Peter Hristoff. Over this time Peter has worked with staff in both departments to co-plan programs that engage a wide variety of Met visitors—from those interested in hearing an artist's views on works in the collection to events that invite participants to create art themselves. Born in Istanbul to a family of Bulgarian artists and strongly influenced by Turkish art, Hristoff is now drawing from his own research of the Met's collection to develop a variety of programs that will connect many different audiences with works of art across the Museum, including those to be featured in the upcoming exhibition The Great Age of the Seljuqs, opening in April 2016.
Posted: Friday, July 31, 2015
I hate jazz. Or, to be more precise, I hate the word "jazz." It's one of those words that is imprecise at best, and grossly misused at worst. Jazz stretches in every direction, from Duke Ellington to Sunday brunch, incorporating everything from some of the most precise and moving music ever made, to intentionally neutered aural wallpaper. This is why Met Museum Presents doesn't have a designated jazz series, even though we do, in fact, present many artists whose work is classified under the "jazz" rubric.
Posted: Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Even during a casual stroll through The American Wing, the volume of stories, history, and historical context of the artworks found in this department's collection is staggering. Encompassing art from the seventeenth century through to the 1930s, and across the mediums of painting, sculpture, decorative arts, and period rooms, there are thousands of potential plays that could come from these galleries.
As a theater company, The Civilians creates work from a central investigation, often through conducting interviews. For the final performance of our Met residency, The Way They Live, premiering May 15 and 16 in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, we were invited to explore The American Wing. This meant we could turn those casual strolls through the Met's American Wing into interviews held with both the staff and the public, which would then be brought together to create a broader conversation between present-day America and the artworks. There were many compelling questions that could guide this conversation between the people who fill the Museum and the art itself, but the most obvious question was also the strongest—we wanted to talk about what it means to be American.