Guillermo Kuitca: Stage Fright Opens at Gallery Met on September 19
The Mets first solo exhibition kicks off new 2007-08 season
New York, NY (July 30, 2007) As one of the opening events of the Metropolitan Opera's 2007-08 season, the Arnold & Marie Schwartz Gallery Met will present its first exhibition by an individual artist: "Guillermo Kuitca: Stage Fright". Organized by Gallery Met Director Dodie Kazanjian, the exhibition features small works on paper, large theater collages, and a series of drawings by Argentine artist Guillermo Kuitca all of which are new works inspired by opera. "Stage Fright" opens to the public on September 19 and runs through November 1.
Images from theater and opera have played a prominent role in Guillermo Kuitcas art since the 1980s. "Stage Fright" captures the vivid and dramatic experience of being in the theater either in the audience or on the stage. A collection of Kuitcas abstract works on paper, titled "32 Seating Plans", was created for the Mets exhibition and inspired by the seating charts of famous opera houses and theaters around the world, including the Opera Bastille, Palais Garnier, Teatro Colón, La Scala, Covent Garden, and the Metropolitan Opera.
A multiple-part suite of new works on paper, titled "The Flying Dutchman", will also be exhibited. These drawings were created from Kuitcas set design for Wagners opera, which was conducted by Charles Dutoit at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, in July 2003. The motif of a conveyor belt is featured in these drawings, which is a recurring theme in Kuitcas work. The baggage carousel is a symbol of fear and anxiety, the idea of the public and performative action of waiting with anticipation for the arrival of an object. This is a kind of stage in itself.
About the artist
Guillermo Kuitca was born in 1961 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he continues to live. His work has been exhibited extensively around the world and is in many important public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. A retrospective of his work, co-organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, opens in 2009. He is currently representing his country in this year's Venice Biennale, where he is one of only three artists in both a national pavilion and in Robert Storr's central international Biennale exhibition.
About Gallery Met Director Dodie Kazanjian
Dodie Kazanjian, editor at large for Vogue, has been covering the international art scene since 1989. She has identified and written about many of the most promising young artists among them Cecily Brown, Maurizio Cattelan, John Currin, and Wangechi Mutu while also profiling and conducting in-depth interviews with such modern masters as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Cy Twombly. Ms. Kazanjian curated Gallery Mets inaugural exhibition, Heroines, which helped launch the companys opening night gala events last year. In 2007, she co-chaired the Mets first Art for Opera contemporary art auction, which was held on the Met stage and raised more than $1.8 million to support new opera productions.
About the Arnold & Marie Schwartz Gallery Met
The Arnold & Marie Schwartz Gallery Met, which opened in September 2006, is a showcase for contemporary works of art that reaffirms the companys long history of groundbreaking relationships with major visual artists. The Gallery was made possible through a $1 million donation by Marie Schwartz, an Advisory Director on the Metropolitan Operas Board. Named for Mrs. Schwartz and her late husband in recognition of the gift, the Gallery is located in the south side of the lobby of the opera house. The exhibits are free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (until 6:00 p.m. on days with no performance), and on Sunday from 12 noon to 6:00 p.m. Gallery Met recently launched Cellphone Audio Tours, which feature participating curators and artists who serve as personal guides. In the spring of 2008, the gallery will display Chuck Closes images of Philip Glass to celebrate the Met premiere of the composers Satyagraha on April 11.
About the Metropolitan Opera
Under the leadership of General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine, the Metropolitan Opera has launched many new initiatives to connect the company with a larger audience. The Met has made a commitment to presenting modern masterpieces alongside the classic repertory, with highly theatrical productions featuring the greatest opera stars in the world. New audience development initiatives include free open houses that offer the public access to final dress rehearsals of new Met productions; reduced ticket prices, including an immensely popular new rush ticket program; and Gallery Met. As a result of these efforts, the Met experienced its first box office increase in five years during the 2006-07 season: total ticket sales increased by 7.1% from the previous season, with 88 performances selling out compared to 22 the season before. In 2007-08, the Met will debut seven new productions, the most the Met has presented in one season in 40 years.
Building on 76 years of international Saturday radio broadcasts now heard over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network the Met recently began to use advanced media distribution platforms and state-of-the-art technology to attract new audiences and reach millions of opera fans around the world. Metropolitan Opera: Live in High Definition expands from six to eight live opera transmissions in 2007-08, beginning with Roméo et Juliette on December 15. The company launched this groundbreaking series last season in movie theaters throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. The series met with overwhelming success and played to sold-out houses, prompting many theaters to schedule encore showings. These performances are subsequently being broadcast on PBS, as part of a new Great Performances at the Met series. Last September, Metropolitan Opera Radio on Sirius launched as a 24-hour satellite radio channel broadcasting both live and rare historical performances. The Met also presents free live streaming of performances on its website once every week with support from RealNetworks®. For more information about the Metropolitan Opera, please visit: www.metopera.org