Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Breuer Building Programming Spans from Diane Arbus to Vijay Iyer

The exterior of the new museum The Met Breuer, an expansion of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.
The Met Breuer. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art takes over the building formerly housing the Whitney Museum of American Art next spring, and its first year in the new space will see historical and contemporary shows as well as adventurous musical performances.

(The Whitney opens at its new digs in the Meatpacking District on May 1; see Does the New Whitney Museum Herald a Golden Age for New York Institutions? and Whitney Hikes Entry Fees, Sells Advance Tickets to New Home.)

The inaugural season at the Marcel Breuer-designed Brutalist building, under the name Met Breuer, launches on March 10, 2016. The debut year will boast three solo exhibitions: a show of photographs by Diane Arbus from her first seven years in New York City, a retrospective of African-American painter Kerry James Marshall, and a show by Indian artist Nasreen Mohamedi, best known for her works on paper.

There’s also a group exhibition that explores unfinished works from the Renaissance to the present, featuring Titian, Rembrandt, Picasso, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and others (see Met Announces First Show in Whitney’s Breuer Building).

The building will also host celebrated Indian-American jazz pianist Vijay Iyer as an artist-in-residence. Iyer will occupy the lobby for 18 days. In addition to staging collaborations with a variety of musicians, dancers, and poets, Iyer will create day-long, site-specific sound installations. In addition to serving as a Harvard professor, Iyer has also played as a sideman with performers as varied as Amiri Baraka and New York rappers Das Racist.

In conjunction with the Met’s two other spaces, the museum will host the U.S. premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Klang, a day-long acoustic and electronic sound work.

“The launch of The Met Breuer marks the start of an exciting new chapter for the museum, allowing us additional space to expand our modern and contemporary visual and performing arts program, as we concurrently redesign and rebuild our Southwest Wing,” said museum director Thomas P. Campbell.


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