Rich Legacy of African Textiles on View in Metropolitan Museum Exhibition
Africa's extraordinary legacy of textile arts, with its explosive color and complex graphic statements, will be presented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning September 30. Bringing together more than 40 works dating from the early 19th century to the present – including a spectacular silk and cotton kente prestige cloth woven in Ghana during the 19th century and a 30-foot-long installation work by contemporary artist Yinka Shonibare – The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design Without End will highlight the enduring significance of textiles as a major form of aesthetic expression across the continent. While examining some of the finest and earliest preserved examples of different regional textile traditions, the exhibition will relate these to works by eight contemporary artists, who draw inspiration from textiles in their explorations of other media ranging from sculpture, painting, and photography to video and installation art. Works selected for the exhibition are drawn primarily from the collections of the Metropolitan and the British Museum as well as several private collections in the U.S. and Europe.
SCHEDULE OF EXHIBITIONS SEPTEMBER 2008 - AUGUST 2009
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: Information provided below is subject to change.
To confirm scheduling and dates, call the Communications Department at (212) 570-3951.
CONTACT NUMBER FOR USE IN TEXT IS (212) 535-7710.
Contemporary Photographs Explore Truth and Illusion in Reality Check at Metropolitan Museum
More than any other type of picture, photographs seem to have a direct and natural connection to visible reality. Reality Check: Truth and Illusion in Contemporary Photography surveys the ways in which artists exploit illusionism in photography to blur the distinction between what is real and what is not. Among the works featured are photographs of staged scenarios and constructed environments that appear to be real, as well as real scenes or landscapes that appear strangely artificial. On view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from November 4, 2008, through March 22, 2009, Reality Check is the third installation in the Joyce and Robert Menschel Hall for Modern Photography, the Museum's new gallery for contemporary photographs.
Curators Pay Tribute to Outgoing Director with Exhibition The Philippe de Montebello Years
To celebrate Philippe de Montebello's 31 years as Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the curators of the Museum have organized an exhibition of approximately 300 of the more than 84,000 works of art acquired during his tenure. This unique project – The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions, which will be on view in The Tisch Galleries from October 24, 2008, through February 1, 2009 – is a collaboration of the curators currently working in the Museum's 17 curatorial departments. Special emphasis will be placed on works that were transformative to the Metropolitan Museum's collections by building on existing strengths and expanding into new areas of collecting. Mr. de Montebello – the eighth and longest-serving Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art – announced in January his plans to retire at the end of the year.
Photographs by Samoan Multimedia Artist On View at Metropolitan Museum This Fall
Sixteen photographs by contemporary artist Shigeyuki Kihara (b. 1975, Samoa) will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning October 7. This marks the first presentation of Samoan contemporary art at the Museum. Shigeyuki Kihara: Living Photographs explores themes of Pacific culture, identity, colonialism, indigenous spirituality, stereotypes, gender roles, and consumerism. Works on view include a hauntingly beautiful picture from the artist's 2004 Vavau series called Taema ma Tilafaiga: Goddess of Tatau, depicting Samoan goddesses chanting about the art of tattooing, as well as a highly praised work titled Fa'a fafine: In a Manner of a Woman, Triptych 1-3, a sequence of photographs, in which the artist re-create and addresses a Samoan portrait genre, in which women were posed as reclining "South Seas Belles." All works on view were printed this year by the artist in Auckland, New Zealand, except two from the Metropolitan's own collection. Complementing the exhibition will be a performance by the artist, Taualuga: The Last Dance, in the Museum's Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium on October 19.
Dynamic Exhibition of Modern British Prints on View at Metropolitan Museum
Rhythms of Modern Life: British Prints 1914-1939, the first major exhibition in the United States to examine the impact of modern artistic movements – especially Italian Futurism – on British printmaking from the outbreak of World War I to the beginning of World War II, will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning September 23, 2008. Featuring the work of 14 artists, Rhythms of Modern Life will showcase more than 100 prime examples of graphic works that celebrate the vitality and dynamism of modern life.
Classic 1930s Street Photographs of New York City on View at Metropolitan Museum September 23
In the late 1930s, Rudy Burckhardt—then a recent émigré to America from Switzerland—photographed his adopted hometown of New York City, and immediately made some of the most lyrical, witty, and poetic images of the city ever created. New York, N. Why?: Photographs by Rudy Burckhardt, 1937–1940, opening September 23 at the Metropolitan Museum, will present in its entirety Burckhardt's unique, handmade album of 67 classic images of sidewalks, outdoor advertising, and pedestrians, selected and sequenced by Burckhardt in 1940 and acquired by the Museum in 1972.
Contemporary Works by African-American Artists Featured in Provocative Visions Installation
Thirteen works by seven contemporary African-American artists – Chakaia Booker, Willie Cole, Glenn Ligon, Whitfield Lovell, Alison Saar, Lorna Simpson, and Kara Walker – are featured at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Provocative Visions: Race and Identity – Selections from the Permanent Collection. The installation, which opened August 19, examines the ways these artists challenge accepted perceptions and assumptions about race, gender, and identity. Cultural heritage and personal history provide a context for these images. All of the sculptures, prints, and drawings were acquired during the past 13 years, within a year or two of their creation – supported in large part by gifts from the Peter Norton Family Foundation and the Hortense and William A. Mohr Sculpture Purchase Fund. Most works are on display at the Metropolitan Museum for the first time.
Landscapes by Revered Chinese Painter Wang Hui in Fall Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum
The paintings of Wang Hui, the most celebrated artist of late 17th-century China, will be featured in an exhibition opening on September 9 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui (1632-1717) will trace Wang's artistic development – from his early years as a brilliant reinterpreter of classic landscape styles to the pinnacle of his career, when he was chosen to illustrate the Kangxi Emperor's epic 1689 inspection tour of China's cultural heartland – through 27 paintings drawn from the Taipei and Beijing Palace Museums, Shanghai Museum, and several North American collections. The presentation of Wang Hui's career will incorporate 11 works that have never before been exhibited in the West, including two enormous panoramic landscape handscrolls. Wang's paintings will be complemented by a selection of earlier landscapes, drawn largely from the Metropolitan Museum's holdings, that will highlight the sources of Wang Hui's inspiration.
Buddhist Manuscript Paintings on View at Metropolitan Museum This Summer
An installation of 30 palm-leaf folios from Indian illuminated manuscripts will open at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on July 29, 2008. Featuring some of the earliest surviving Indian manuscripts, dating from the 10th to the 13th century, Early Buddhist Manuscript Painting: The Palm-leaf Tradition will center on one remarkable Mahayanist Buddhist text, the Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra ('Perfection of Wisdom'), illustrated through the Museum's rare holdings of eastern Indian and Nepalese illuminated palm-leaf manuscripts, book-covers, initiation cards, thankas, and sculptures.