Located in the Met’s south lobby, the Arnold and Marie Schwartz Gallery Met hosts works by some of the contemporary art world’s most innovative and provocative figures. Conceived by General Manager Peter Gelb and Dodie Kazanjian, the founding director and curator, the venue continues and reaffirms the Met’s long history of groundbreaking relationships with major visual artists—such as Chagall and Hockney—while fostering new opportunities for collaboration. Admission to the Schwartz Gallery Met is free to ticket holders and to the general public.
A $1 million gift from Marie Schwartz, an Advisory Director on the Met Board, has made this initiative possible, and in recognition the Met has named the gallery for her and her late husband, Arnold.
Gallery Met is closed for the summer and will reopen in September with an exhibition tied to one of the 2015–16 season’s new productions.
Gallery Met History
Gallery Met opened in September 2006 with an exhibition of works inspired by the 2006–07 season’s new productions. The artists represented included Cecily Brown, John Currin, Barnaby Furnas, Makiko Kudo, Richard Prince, David Salle, Sophie von Hellerman, and others. During the summer and fall of 2007, the space was home to Opera by Design, an exhibition of set models for the new productions of the 2007–08 season, and Stage Fright, a collection of opera-inspired works by Argentinian artist Guillermo Kuitca.
The beginning of the 2007–08 season saw works by a variety of artists from The New Yorker and the contemporary art scene, based on the Brothers Grimm story of Hansel and Gretel, which were on display during the run of the Met’s new production of Humperdinck’s fairy-tale opera. This was followed by Chuck Close Philip Glass 40 Years, a selection of Close’s more than 100 portraits of his composer friend, coinciding with the Met premiere of Glass’s Satyagraha. The Sopranos, an exhibit featuring renowned Italian painter Francesco Clemente’s series of portraits of eight Met divas in roles they performed during the 125th anniversary season, was on view during the summer of 2008.
In the fall and winter of 2008, David Altmejd Doctor Atomic presented the Canadian artist’s mirror sculpture The Eye, which was inspired by the Met premiere of John Adams’s opera Doctor Atomic. From February 2009 through the end of the 2008–09 season, a selection of works by German artist Anselm Kiefer was on view in a collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and coinciding with the final revival of Otto Schenk’s production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. Ten of Kiefer’s Ring-inspired pieces were lent to the Met Opera by its museum counterpart for this show, which was entitled From the Met to the Met: Anselm Kiefer and Wagner’s “Ring”.
The 2009–10 season began with Something About Mary, an exhibition tied to the new production of Tosca. A variety of artists took their inspiration from the first act of Puccini’s opera, in which the painter Mario Cavaradossi is seen working on a portrait of Mary Magdalene. The show included new portraits of this biblical figure by Paul Chan, Francesco Clemente, George Condo, John Currin, Elizabeth Peyton, James Rosenquist, Julian Schnabel, Dana Schutz, and Francesco Vezzoli, among others, and was on view through January 2010. This was followed by a selection of new works by South-African artist William Kentridge, tied to the Met premiere production of Shostakovich’s The Nose, which Kentridge designed and directed. Ad Hoc: Works for “The Nose“ was seen through the end of the 2009–10 opera season.
During the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons, Gallery Met presented a four-part series of exhibitions tied to Robert Lepage’s new production of Wagner’s Ring cycle. These included Julie Mehretu’s Notations after the “Ring,” Elizabeth Peyton’s Wagner, Peter Doig’s Siegfried and Poster Project, and Dana Schutz’s Götterdämmerung.
The 2012–13 season saw Ariel and Other Spirits, a solo exhibition by David Salle inspired by the Met premiere production of Thomas Adès’s The Tempest, and George Condo’s Jesters, which was tied to the new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto.
Two Boys Laurie Simmons, which coincided with the Met premiere of Nico Muhly’s opera Two Boys, kicked off the 2013–14 season. This was followed by Imaginary Portraits: Prince Igor, tied to the new production premiere of Borodin’s opera and featuring new works by more than 20 artists, including John Baldessari, Francesco Clemente, Alex Katz, Ragnar Kjartansson, Dana Schutz, Michael Williams, New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl, fashion designer Thom Browne, and architect David Adjaye.
This past season opened with Peter Saul’s Figaro, a solo exhibition of works inspired by Le Nozze di Figaro, coinciding with Richard Eyre’s new production of Mozart’s opera. On view through spring 2015 was Tribal Frog Tattoo, an exhibition of paintings by Michael Williams coinciding with the Met’s new production of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle.