Arnold and Marie Schwartz Gallery at the Metropolitan Opera House
70 Lincoln Center, South side lobby of Metropolitan Opera House, 212-870-7457
Upper West Side
September 19 - November 1, 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: Stage Fright by Guillermo Kuitca, a leading figure in the world of contemporary art. Organized by Gallery Met Director Dodie Kazanjian, the exhibition features small works on paper, large theater collages, and a series of drawings by the Argentine artist—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 Kuitca’s 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 Kuitca’s abstract works on paper, titled 32 Seating Plans, was created for the Met’s exhibition and inspired by the seating charts of famous opera houses and theaters around the world, including the Opera Bastille, Palais Garnier, Teatro Colon, 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 Kuitca’s set design for Wagner’s 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 Kuitca’s 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.