This month at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, visitors can see a variety of exhibits featuring works in an array of mediums, from armors and sculptures to paintings and toys, including just-opened The Last Knight: The Art, Armor, and Ambition of Maximilian I, Wangechi Mutu’s, The NewOnes will free Us, and In Praise of Painting.
The Last Knight: The Art, Armor, and Ambition of Maximilian I opened on October 7th and features 181 objects, like armors, manuscripts, tapestry and toys. According to metmuseum.org, “The Last Knight coincides with the five-hundredth anniversary of Maximilian’s death, and is the most ambitious North American loan exhibition of European arms and armor in decades.” Through art selected from 30 public and private collections, the exhibit analyzes Maximilian’s ambitions, strategies and legacy. The Last Knight: The Art, Armor, and Ambition of Maximilian I will be on display at The Met until Jan. 5, 2020.
The NewOnes will free Us is Wangechi Mutu’s response to the Met’s invitation to the first annual facade (front face of the building) commision. The Kenyan-American artist was commissioned to be the first artist to ever adorn the facade since the museum’s completion in 1902. The exhibit is comprised of only four sculptures, one for each niche, entitled The Seated I, II, III, and IV. The four sculptures are a response to a consistent motif Mutu noticed of sculpted women kneeling, holding a child or a seat for a man. Her four sculptures are an attempt to break away from these gender roles and depict women seated. Her humanoid but not-yet-human sculptures draw inspiration from African culture with circular structures on or near the faces of the women that nod to lip plates worn by women of status in certain tribes. The NewOnes will free Us will be on display at The Met until January 12, 2020.
While Dutch paintings have always been a main feature of the Met, the exhibit In Praise of Painting is an ode to the Dutch Golden Age of painting. While Dutch paintings have always been a main feature of The Met, the exhibit In Praise of Painting is an ode to the Dutch Golden Age of painting. The exhibit, which opened at The Met in October 2018, comprises multiple galleries and features 67 paintings, including several by Rembrandt, as well as many of his followers and some lesser-known artists of the time. The works highlight important seventeenth century themes like trade advancements, economic success, faith, and a fascination in the lives of women In Praise of Painting doesn’t have a set closing date, so visitors will be able to enjoy these Dutch masterpieces for some time to come.
Epic Abstraction lauds abstract art in its variety of forms. The abstractionist movement emerged after World War II as artists strayed from the restraints of traditional painting as a way to cope with the horrors and loss of life resulting from the war. The “metaphorical potential” of art that doesn’t function within the confines of reality emphasized the experimentational aspect of abstract art. Artists like Pollack, Newman, and Barnett, all featured in the exhibit, experimented with a plethora of materials, mediums, and styles, which eventually migrated into distinct stylistic groups. Abstract artists were known to utilize large-scale canvases to emphasize the radical and exploratory nature of abstractionism. Featuring a variety of paintings, sculptures, and assemblages, the exhibit specifically spans from 1940 into the twenty-first century, displaying artists’ creative interpretation of the world around them. This exhibit is also unique in that it is constantly changing (similar to the art style it celebrates) based on new loans and acquisitions from different curators.
The exhibits are open to the public. The MET is open seven days a week. Go to metmuseum.org for more information.
Graphic: Sofia Lee