Last week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art unveiled a new large-scale installation by artist Dan Graham entitled Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout. The S-shaped, maze like structure sits between two ivy hedgerows at the center of the museum’s rooftop garden – the terrain of which has been transformed through collaboration with Swiss landscape architect Günther Vogt. To complement the new site-specific installation, several of Graham’s related projects spanning over the past 35 years are also on display inside the Met’s modern and contemporary art galleries. The special exhibit and rooftop commission will remain on display until November 2.
With the installation pieces he calls “pavilions” after the ornamental buildings that adorn 17th and 18th-century gardens, Dan Graham’s sculptural objects obscure the distinctions between art and architecture. Comprised of steel and glass, these structures not only echo modern building façades in their use of materials, but are also designed to act as a mirror for the environments they are set within. By using reflective surfaces formed into concave and convex curves, the works recreate and distort the encompassing city skyline, challenging the observer to think of their location in new ways. Similarly, viewers become active participants in the appearance of the art, as traveling through the assemblage alters the perspective, and one’s own form and movements become part of the work, thereby creating a one-of-a-kind, interactive experience.
All photos by Matt Height.
Dan Graham speaking about his work, alongside Met Modern and Contemporary Art curator Ian Alteveer
The artist answering questions from the crowd