Icelandic artist Katrin Sigurdardottir (b. 1967) has created two site-specific sculptural installations for the Museum's series of solo exhibitions featuring the work of contemporary artists at mid-career.
Entitled Boiseries, the installations are full-scale interpretations of eighteenth-century French rooms preserved at the Metropolitan Museum, one from the Hôtel de Crillon (1777–1780) on the Place de la Concorde, Paris, and the other from the Hôtel de Cabris (ca. 1774) at Grasse in Provence.
Visitors to the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing's south mezzanine gallery encounter one Boiserie as the exterior of an enclosed chamber. Looking through one-way mirrors, they are able to see inside the room that Sigurdardottir has created, complete with replica furniture based on the Hôtel de Crillon period room in the Museum's Wrightsman Galleries.
In contrast, visitors to the north mezzanine gallery are invited to walk among panels of the second Boiserie, based on the Hôtel de Cabris period room, where Sigurdardottir has altered scale and proportion to create something akin to a folding screen rather than an enclosed space.
The installations address simultaneously the wonder and the challenges of presenting and viewing a period room as an object in a museum, and they provoke self-conscious reflection of the museum experience. Inspired by centuries-old interiors, with carved and gilded paneling, the artist's distilled environments are composed of fiberboard, mirrors, and flat white paint, rendered with advanced technological and fabrication techniques.
The exhibition is made possible by an anonymous donor and Sarah Peter.