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  • Source: ARTFORUM
  • Author: EDITORS
  • Date: APRIL 11, 2023
  • Format: DIGITAL


New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo: Penn State University Libraries/Flickr.

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art has commissioned Berlin-based sculptor Nairy Baghramian and Brooklyn-based multimedia artist Jacolby Satterwhite to create new works for the institution, where they will go on display this fall. Baghramian will produce four polychrome sculptures, each occupying a niche carved into the museum’s Fifth Avenue–facing facade, while Satterwhite will create more than a hundred works variously incorporating sound, video, and performance. These will be exhibited together in the Met’s Great Hall.

“We are excited to present major new works by Nairy Baghramian as well as Jacolby Satterwhite, two outstanding, innovative artists whose installations at The Met will challenge and expand our dialogue with the museum as a site of artistic discourse and community experience,” said Met director Max Hollein.

The commissions reflect the Met’s push to display more contemporary art. In late 2021, the museum announced that it would restore and expand its contemporary art galleries thanks to an unprecedented $125 million pledge from collectors Oscar Tang and Agnes Hsu-Tang, for whom the revamped wing will be named. Last spring, Mexican architect Frida Escobedo was tapped to oversee the $500 million renovation, becoming the first woman to design a wing at the Met. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2029. In fall 2022, the museum revealed that David Breslin, a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art and a co-organizer of the 2022 Whitney Biennial, would lead its modern and contemporary department. Breslin filled the position left vacant by Sheena Wagstaff, who stepped down as chair of the department after nearly a decade in the role.

Baghramian’s contributions, collectively titled, “Scratching the Back,” will be on view from September 7, 2023, to May 19, 2024. Satterwhite’s creations, which according to a press release will provide a “densely layered environment,” will greet visitors between October 2 and November 27, 2023.