What you won't see on the Met roof this summer: Louise Bourgeois's Maman (here being installed at the Tate Modern in London). Image from the Internet
I love the Metropolitan Museum of Art and I love its roof, officially the Iris B. and Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. Take the special elevator to the roof and you walk out onto an aerie overlooking Central Park, with the sleek buildings of midtown to the south; the storied apartment buildings of Central Park West: The Dakota, the Beresford, the San Remo (and some fabulous sunsets); and more immediately, the limestone structures of Fifth Avenue to the East.
Once the weather turns warm, sculpture is installed on the roof, where it remains through October. It's the neatest slice of art, architecture and real estate in the city. I've written about two installations--Frank Stella and Roxy Paine--and I loved Doug and Mike Starns's Big Bambu last year; I even took the tour, which allowed me to climb up into the structure.
This year, according to the press release that has just arrived in my in box, the British sculptor Anthony Caro will be up there. Says the Met proudly: "Anthony Caro on the Roof will be the 14th consecutive single-artist installation on the Cantor Roof Garden."
It will also be the ninth consecutive male-artist installation.
I have finally gone through the roof! In those 14 years there have been exactly two women: Magdalena Abakanowicz and Coosje van Bruggen (the latter in concert with her partner, Claes Oldenberg). Here's the list from Wikipedia:
"Every summer since 1998 the roof garden has hosted a single-artist exhibition. The artists have been: Ellsworth Kelly (1998), Magdalena Abakanowicz (1999), David Smith (2000), Joel Shapiro (2001), Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen (2002), Roy Lichtenstein (2003), Andy Goldsworthy (2004), Sol LeWitt (2005), Cai Guo-Qiang (2006), Frank Stella (2007), Jeff Koons (2008), Roxy Paine (2009) and Big Bambú by Doug and Mike Starn (2010).
These are all fine artists--well, except for Koons--but let me ask you: Where is Ursula von Rydingsvard? Where is Chakaia Booker? Where is Maya Lin? Jackie Ferrara? Jackie Winsor? Lila Katzen? Alice Aycock? Mary Miss? Barbara Chase Riboud? Sheila Hicks? Beverly Pepper?
Shall I go on?
Where is Rachel Whiteread? Where is Nancy Azara? Cady Noland? Sherrie Levine? Janine Antoni? Nikki de Saint Phalle? Barbara Hepworth? Rebecca Horn? Pae White?
And where, for the love of god, is Louise?