New York City, NY
Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas has created a site-specific sculptural installation for The Met's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. The installation is the fifth in a series of commissions for the outdoor space.
Villar Rojas — known for his large-scale installations — has transformed the Cantor Roof. Sixteen sculptures that fuse human figures with replicas of nearly 100 objects from the Museum’s collection, occupying a new black, white, and gray tiled floor, the installation also encompasses an environmental transformation of the space, including an extension of the existing pergola and new plantings, public furniture, and a newly designed bar.
To realize the project, Villar Rojas immersed himself in the Museum’s history and collections, holding conversations with individuals across the institution, including curators, scientific researchers, objects conservators, and imaging specialists. He has also reconciled the Cantor Roof’s many functions as a gallery, a bar, and a popular vantage point from which to view Manhattan’s expansive skyline. The artist integrated these aspects of the space into his installation by working each element — from the floor to the bar — into the conceit of a fantastical event in which white tables are punctuated by black sculptures, all coated in a layer of dust
Whether you go or not, the exhibition catalog, Adrián Villar Rojas: The Roof Garden Commission: The Theater of Disappearance, presents the artist's commentary and a unique visual diary of his thought process on the 2017 installation. Known for his ephemeral, interconnected installations and monumental sculpture, Villar Rojas (b. 1980) transformed The Met Roof into an immersive banquet scene. The installation merges these institutional functions by framing art within the context of a party where viewers and artworks can directly interact. The publication, an integral part of Villar Rojas’s installation, covers themes as diverse as museology, history, and the activation of art—offering a meditation on how museums as artifacts represent and historicize art.