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A Spatial Experience: The 2019 Roof Garden Commission

This year, the rigorous, geometric, and highly experiential work of the Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade graces The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden

From April 16 until October, the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art will display an original commission by Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade. Alicja Kwade, ParaPivot is the seventh work to be commissioned by The Met from contemporary artists—an exciting annual initiative that has become a New York City warm-weather tradition. Kwade follows Pakistani artist Huma Bhabha, who created two monumental bronze sculptures for the outdoor space in 2018. Kwade’s focus on abstraction marks a departure from the past two commissions.

Huma Bhabha, We Come in Peace, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2018


Born in 1979, the artist lives and works in Berlin. Raised by a cultural-scientist mother and a father who worked as a conservator and art historian, she grew up in Poland and, later, Germany. Best known for her sculptures and installations, Kwade makes works that reflect on the nature of time and perception. For The Met, Kwade has created two sculptures using steel and stone, and which evoke a miniature solar system. The work, she has said, is meant to encourage visitors to think about Earth itself and the “irrational fact that you are on a sphere, turning at high speed in the void.”

Alicja Kwade


“The Met’s Roof Garden Commission is a catalyst for bold artistic intervention and the continuous rethinking of a unique space” said director Max Hollein. “The setting—perched atop the museum’s vast collection and set against New York City’s iconic skyline and Central Park—presents a compelling site for Kwade.”

Alicja Kwade, ParaPivot, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019


Kwade’s work reflects her own sense of wonder and scientific inquiry. Geometrically rigorous and in a way absurd, her creations challenge viewers to use our own analytical powers to consider the mysteries of the universe.

Alicja Kwade, ParaPivot, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019


This piece of space will land on the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden until October 27. This will be Kwade’s first solo exhibition at a museum in the United States.

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