There are few venues in New York more high profile than the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and each year rumors spread about who is going to be in the annual show the museum stages there, which usually opens in the spring and runs into the fall. This year French artist Pierre Huyghe will have the honor, The New York Times’ reported today.
Huyghe follows Dan Graham and Günther Vogt (2014), Imran Qureshi (2013), Tomás Saraceno (2012), Anthony Caro (2011), Doug and Mike Starn (2010), Roxy Paine (2009), Jeff Koons (2008), Frank Stella (2007), Cai Guo-Qiang (2006), Sol LeWitt (2005), and Andy Goldsworthy (2004) in having the rooftop space. Lots of men on that list!
The French artist has been on something of a tear over the past year, with a widely acclaimed survey show appearing at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where it runs through February 22. He also had a strong show at Hauser & Wirth in London, which was open during Frieze.
Sheena Wagstaff, the Met’s chairwoman of modern and contemporary art department, and Ian Alteveer, an associate curator, have comissioned the work, the details of which are pretty much nonexistent at the moment. “Pierre loves the fact that the park is full of animals,” Alteveer teases in The Times. Huyghe, of course, has made works in the past that incorporate a dog, a hermit crab, bees, and the flu virus (a sculpture involving someone being infected with it, to be exact).
A film in his recent Hauser show also featured a drone that explores radioactive areas in Japan that are inhospitable to humans and a monkey that dons a human mask and serves as a waiter in a restaurant in Japan. When I profiled Huyghe late last year for ARTnews, he explained: “I got very interested in these two things—machine replacing man, animal replacing man…It’s nature that has lost its naturality, and there’s no way to go back…I see that as a kind of Greek tragedy.”
Huyghe’s last show in New York was at Marian Goodman Gallery in 2011. This one at the Met will run from April 28 through November 1.