Meet the New Met: The Met Breuer Opens in NYC March 2016

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is already one of the most expansive museums in the world, but this world-class institution will soon be getting an upgrade. On March 18, 2016, the Met will celebrate the opening of The Met Breuer, a separate building devoted to modern and contemporary art.

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The Met Breuer will be housed in the former home of the Whitney Museum of American Art (now located downtown on Gansevoort Street), a stunning building at 75th Street and Madison Avenue designed by Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer and completed in 1966. With a focus on art from the 20th and 21st centuries, the Met’s new occupancy of the building will give visitors the chance to enjoy the institution’s vast contemporary art collections like never before. The Met Breuer’s programming will include exhibitions highlighting both singular artists and specific themes, as well as new commissions and performances.

Debuting along with the new building will be two major exhibitions. Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible, which runs through September 4, 2016, will examine the question of when a work of art is actually considered to be finished. The exhibition will include over 190 pieces from the Renaissance to the present, including works that were left incomplete and art with an intentionally unfinished aesthetic. The museum will also feature a retrospective of 20th century Indian artist Nasreen Mohamedi, who made vital contributions to the development of international abstraction and modernism. With over 130 paintings, drawings, and photographs on display, the exhibition (running through June 5, 2016) will be the largest presentation of her work to date.

The museum will also house several performances and performance-based installations in the spring. From March 18-31, the Met’s 2015-2016 Resident Artist Vijay Iyer will occupy the Lobby. Iyer will collaborate with performance artists, working with other dancers, poets, and musicians, in addition to solo performances. He will also create sound installations specifically for this space that will allow for full-day experiences. For a more personal experience, visitors can download Soundwalk 9:09, a new work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams timed to be the exact length of the walk between the Met Breuer and the main Met building at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street. The piece will include sounds recorded by Adams as well as over 100 that he selected from submissions online. Finally, visitors to any of the Met’s buildings on March 26 can enjoy Karlheinz Stockhausen’s epic piece Klang, a 21-part acoustic and electronic composition that will be performed in an all-day performance at the Met’s main building, the Met Breuer, and the Met’s uptown medieval annex, the Cloisters. The performance of this massive work will be the U.S. debut of the piece in its entirety.

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Image: Timothy Brown/Flickr

To commemorate the museum’s opening, the Met Breuer will debut with a three-day celebration. On Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19, the Met Breuer will feature extended hours from 10am through 10pm, while visitors to the museum on Sunday, March 20 will be able to take part in a special family day. For more information about the Met Breuer, visit its official website here.

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Image: Richard Winchell/Flickr

About the Author

Alison Durkee is a New York-based arts journalist and critic with a background in theatre and dance. She currently serves as the Features Editor of London theatre website Everything Theatre and also covers news and politics for

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