The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue, New York
October 2 – November 26, 2023
Lundgren Gallery congratulates Jacolby Satterwhite on his monumental installation this fall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Opening October 2 through November 26, the Museum's Great Hall will be transformed by Satterwhite with a site-specific video installation, a soundscape and performances.Satterwhite’s project is the second in the series of commissions for The Met’s Great Hall. The artist will create a large-scale work, comprised of video, sound, music and performative interventions. Using more than one hundred objects from The Met's collection, combined with images of New York City and its diverse communities, Satterwhite’s commission will celebrate the vital role of the Museum within the city and beyond. The installation will include a series of performances and a new soundtrack, which, along with the visual installation, will generate a densely layered environment within the Great Hall. Photograph by Xavier Scott Marshal
MET MUSEUM COMMISSIONS TO BRING CONTEMPORARY ART FRONT AND CENTER
WITH A NEW WING YEARS AWAY, THE MET WILL HIGHLIGHT CUTTING-EDGE ART WITH NAIRY BAGHRAMIAN ON ITS FACADE AND JACOLBY SATTERWHITE IN THE GREAT HALL.
For a contemporary artist, the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the walls of its Great Hall are prime real estate for showing work, given the Met’s importance and the huge number of visitors it gets (more than 3.4 million in 2022).
Today the museum is announcing new commissions that will take over both spaces in the fall.
The Berlin-based sculptor Nairy Baghramian will make four sculptures for the facade niches along Fifth Avenue as part of her installation “Scratching the Back,” on view from Sept. 7 to May 19. From Oct. 2 to Nov. 23, the Great Hall will be filled with works by the Brooklyn-based multimedia artist Jacolby Satterwhite.
Max Hollein, the museum’s director, said that the two new commissions — along with the previously announced roof garden project by Lauren Halsey that opens April 18 — reflect the Met’s priorities.
“It’s about creating opportunities for artists in spaces that are very public, present and accessible,” said Hollein, adding that it was part of making contemporary art “front and center in an institution that is bold but also playful.”
Though the spaces are highly visible, they are not necessarily easy for an artist to fill. “They are powerful spaces, but challenging,” Hollein said. “It’s not another white box.”
Hollein — who this summer will also become the museum’s chief executive — pointed out that the commissions were but one part of the Met’s effort to center contemporary art.
“We’re building a whole new wing for it,” Hollein said of the $500 million expansion for Modern and contemporary work being designed by the Mexican architect Frida Escobedo. It is slated for completion in 2029.
Satterwhite is a South Carolina native who was featured in the Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2014, and more recently did a commission for the overhaul of David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center that debuted in October, a video called “An Eclectic Dance to the Music of Time.”
He will make an elaborate work incorporating video, sound and performative interventions. Some of the animation in the piece will depict objects from the Met’s collection that have been 3-D scanned.
“It will create an immersive narrative that will take you in different directions,” Hollein said.
One of the donors who is contributing to the Satterwhite installation in the Great Hall is Sarah Arison, a museum patron and president of the Arison Arts Foundation.
“It’s a grand, institutional space,” said Arison, who is also a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art and the Aspen Art Museum. “I love that the Met is going to showcase someone young and dynamic there.”