I've been either working or away most weekends the past few months, so this weekend I was really craving some museum time. I had major catching up to do on exhibitions (many of which I still haven't gotten to!) and planned my attack right as some other exhibitions were just opening. We saw five high-quality exhibitions this weekend, but the one that I've been thinking about the most is Roxy Paine's installation on the roof of the Met.
The roof garden (and exhibition) just opened last weekend, and on a warm, pre-Memorial day Friday evening, it was packed. The crowd, however, ended up really adding to the piece. Paine, who you may remember designed the aluminum trees in Madison Square Park a couple years ago, created an encompassing and tangled tree structure out of aluminum for the roof of the Met. It was invasive and complicated; confusing and elegant. Because of the crowds, you were constantly climbing through branches, meandering over and under these metal arms. The roof, crowded with ladies in heels and men in suits, holding cocktails and watching the sun set, literally became a jungle gym. It was fantastic!
The choice of aluminum made the sculpture light, rather than heavy, so it would sort of bounce around, and you could touch it and shake it, making branches on the other side of the space move in tandem. It was playful, and viewers were having fun. I was really surprised at how interactive the piece became - you could never just stand and look at it; you were engulfed by it.
This installation was a dark horse in the group of summer "blockbusters" we saw and I absolutely fell in love with it. I hope anyone who is in New York this summer will get a chance to see it!! The Roof Garden is open during Museum hours, as well as on Friday and Saturday evenings for cocktails, until 8:30pm. The sunset over the park is a must-see.