The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Roof Garden Commission, which brings large-scale public art to the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden every April, was delayed by four months last year (probably predictably) due to COVID. In 2021 however, The Met revealed today both that it had selected Philadelphia multimedia artist Alex Da Corte for this spring’s installation, and that it would debut on schedule this April 16.
“We are thrilled that Alex Da Corte will bring his imaginative vision to the Cantor Roof Garden this spring,” said Marina Kellen French Director of The Met, Max Hollein, in the museum’s announcement. “The installation, which the artist initiated as the pandemic first took hold of the world, evokes notions of uncertainty, nostalgia, sadness, and hope so inherent in our turbulent times. With this commission, Da Corte has created a work of art that meets the present moment and its challenges with the promise of optimism.”
The installations that grace the roof of the Fifth Avenue museum, directly overlooking Central Park, are typically structure-based, emphasizing a sense of exploration for the museum’s visitors or playful integration with their surroundings. Last year, Mexican artist Héctor Zamora referenced strife at the U.S.-Mexico border with his 100-foot-long Lattice Detour wall made from terra-cotta bricks; 2018 saw Alicja Kwade’s ParaPivot I and ParaPivot II frame the city skyline between black steel boxes, and 2016’s Psychobarn brought a 30-foot-tall scale replica of the Bates mansion from Psycho to the roof, courtesy of British artist Cornelia Parker.
It’s likely Da Corte’s installation will be just as tactile, large, and contemplative. While photos or concept images have been released yet, he told the New York Times that his piece, As Long as the Sun Lasts, would be made from “plastic, stainless steel and aluminum,” and over joyously colorful, while not totally free of the somber times we find ourselves in.
Da Corte’s star has definitely been rising as of late, across all mediums (but especially his all-in-one combinations of video art and built sets). Da Corte’s illuminated, tiny replica of a typical American town was presented at the 2019 Venice Biennale alongside Rubber Pencil Devil, a satirical loop of typical 20th-century pop Americana television in a neon-lit room, which went on to become a solo show at the Prada Rong Zhai in Shanghai last year.
As Long as the Sun Lasts will be on view from April 16 through October 31.