New era: The Met Breuer throws open its doors with several bold gestures
The reopening of the Marcel Breuer’s former Whitney Museum building – which will be henceforth known as The Met Breuer – heralds a new beginning for the mammoth arts institution. Dedicated to modern and contemporary art covering the period from 1900 up to present day, The Met Breuer has returned the iconic building back to its former glory, removing any traces of ageing over the years with the help of Beyer Blinder Belle. In tribute to the legacy of the building, the museum has incorporated its architect's name in its official new moniker.
At the museum's press preview, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's director and CEO Thomas P Campbell said, 'In deciding to title the building "The Met Breuer", we’re choosing to pay homage to architect Marcel Breuer, who’s vision and artistry lead to the creation of one of the most iconic and influential works of modernist architecture in New York. It’s been a privilege to occupy this space, especially to have the time between the departure of the Whitney and our own opening today, where we’ve been able to really explore the building and do our part to recapture its beauty.’
With the official opening just two weeks away, The Met Breuer is set to capture hearts and minds with several groundbreaking exhibitions. The second floor space will be dedicated to the Indian modernist Nasreen Mohamedi, chosen not only for her influence on abstraction, but also to articulate the museum's keen international focus. Featuring over 130 paintings, drawings and photographs, this showcase provides a rarely seen insight into the complex oeuvre of this conceptual artist.
The exhibition set to really ignite excitement, however, is 'Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible' on the third and fourth floors. Ranging from Renaissance portraits to still-lifes, and abstract compositions from the likes of Luc Tuymans, Robert Rauschenberg, Picasso and Yayoi Kusama, this showcase offers a multi-dimensional look at the creative and artistic process in its numerous different forms. Whether interrupted by war, economics or death, the array of unfinished work blurs the boundaries between space and time, while leading viewers to question: when exactly is an art work considered finished?
This new era of the Metropolitan Museum is perfectly encapsulated in a specially commissioned audio work by the Pulitzer-prize winning composer John Luther Adams, which is available to download now. Lasting nine mintues and nine seconds, the two-part composition coincides with the average amount of time it takes to walk from The Met Breuer to the museum’s main hub on Fifth Avenue.