Review: Best and Worst of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

There are several special exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City at this time.  I’m going to talk about 4 of them that I’ve seen recently and give you my general opinion of each one. This will be my best and the worst rating for this museum for Summer 2011.

The 4 that I’m going to discuss in this article will be Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, Anthony Caro on the Roof, Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective, Pastel Portraits: Images of 18th Century Europe.

 

1. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

This exhibition is an absolute must-see.  I have already written a full review of McQueen’s Savage Beauty in a previous blog

This exhibition is worth a special trip to the Metropolitan and is hands-down the most exciting of all the others that I will write about today. 

Plato’s Atlantis

The rooms are set up in a labyrinth and you weave back and forth through one fantasy world to the next.  Plato’s Atlantis (shown at the left) is one of the more alluring and futuristic rooms.

But be prepared for a lengthy wait, especially on the weekends.  You will have to stand in line at least an hour and a half to get in.  If you come on a week day, your wait may not be as long.  I was there on a Wednesday afternoon around 3 pm and was able to get inside in less than 10 minutes.  But we kept checking back to see when the line was getting shorter, and didn’t go in on our first attempt. It all depends on how the crowds are that day.  But even if you decide to wait, it will be well worth it.

2. Anthony Caro on the Roof

I’ve already written a full review about this exhibition in a previous blog. 

Anthony Caro on the Roof

If you enjoy 3-dimensional works, then you will probably enjoy going on the roof of the Met to see this exhibition.  I was with a sculptor friend the day I went but we didn’t end up staying very long.  She and I both seemed to get bored with this one very quickly.  But it is worth it to just go up on the roof of the Met because of the view of Central Park and the New York City skyline.

This is not a must-see and certainly you would not want to make a special trip just to see this.  But if you are planning a day at the Met, then by all means stop by and see this one.

3. Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective

Through some fifty drawings and a selection of sketchbooks, the exhibition presents the evolution of Serra’s drawing from the early 1970s—when he worked primarily on paper with more traditional mediums such as ink, charcoal, lithographic crayon—to the mid-1970s when he turned to black paintstick, a crayon comprised of a mixture of pigment, oil, and wax. He has been using paintstick in its various forms since then, creating heavily textured works in which thick black surfaces, frequently very large in scale, emphasize his interest in process, weight, and gravity. Black, in Serra’s understanding, is not a color but rather a material; it therefore has weight and responds to the laws of gravity.

This is not a must-see and certainly you would not want to make a special trip just to see this.  But if you are planning a day at the Met, then by all means stop by and see this one.

 

4. Pastel Portraits: Images of 18th-Century Europe

Pastel Portraits: Images of 18th-Century Europeincludes some forty pastels, belonging to the Metropolitan Museum and, with important exceptions, to museums and private collections in the New York area. It presents Italian, French, and English works, supplemented by several German, Swiss, and American examples.

 Unless you are an avid pastel artist or portrait, you will not find much here.  Skip this one, it will not be worth your time.

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About Gary Bolyer Fine Art

I am a New York City-based landscape artist.
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