Who Is Alex Da Corte, The Artist Behind The New Yo ...
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Who Is Alex Da Corte, The Artist Behind The New York Met’s 2021 Roof Garden Commission?

‘As Long As The Sun Lasts’ Will Debut On Fifth Avenue This April

Across its one-hundred and forty-nine-year history, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue has played host to countless incredible exhibitions from celebrated artists around the world, with aspiring artists everywhere dreaming of one day having their own work on display in the iconic gallery. 

Since 1998, however, the most coveted space at the New York Met isn’t one housed inside the building at all – it’s at the centre of the gallery’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, overlooking the vast Manhattan skyline. 

Opened in 1987 featuring a cafe and bar, the roof garden quickly became popular amongst Met guests looking to take a breath and enjoy the beautiful views from the space as they discuss the exhibitions that they had enjoyed throughout their visit. It wasn’t until nine years later than the gallery decided to add single-artist exhibitions to the area – a decision that has since allowed for the display of some truly exceptional art. 

Previously awarded to Hector Zamora, Alicja Kwade and Adrián Villar Rojas, the opportunity to take on the New York Met’s annual Roof Garden Commission is a career-defining moment for any artist, with the announcement of the artist who has been selected to design the roof garden each year welcomed by plenty of excitement from the community. 

It’s little wonder, then, that so many are keen to get to know a little more about Alex Da Corte, the artist behind 2021’s Roof Garden Commission, As Long As The Sun Lasts.

Born in 1980 in Camden, New Jersey, Alex Da Corte wasn’t always on track for a career in Fine Art, having trained initially as an animator at New York’s School of Visual Arts. However, it wasn’t long until Da Corte’s focus switched to creating pieces across a range of media –  including performance, painting, installations and sculptures – to create vibrant, eye-catching exhibitions which aim to redesign the way we look at cultural icons, whether they are living people or universally recognisable objects. 

A look at Da Corte’s most celebrated works makes it clear that his designs are less about simply provoking thought and are far more grounded in provoking emotion and feeling through the way that his pieces are designed. Perhaps one of his most famous exhibitions is Die Hexe (The Witch), a kitsch, far-out look at one of cinema’s most iconic villains, The Wizard Of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West displayed at Luxembourg & Dayan New York in the Spring of 2015. 

It’s clear that Da Corte’s work has gone from strength to strength in the six years since, having been displayed in spaces in Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Vienna, Lyon and Rotterdam to name just a few. Now, Da Corte is set to return to New York once again to delight thousands of New York Met visitors as the designer of 2021’s Roof Garden Commission, As Long As The Sun Lasts.

As of yet, little is known regarding the design of As Long As The Sun Lasts, with the only confirmed details so far being the opening and closing dates of the exhibition, 16th April and October 31st 2021 respectively. However, a look at Alex Da Corte’s catalogue of previous work hints at a bold, vivid display, likely playing freely with depth perception, light and size to create an exhibition – an experience – that is both immersive and imaginative in equal measure.  

However, clues have been given regarding the aim of Da Corte’s roof garden exhibition, which will look to evoke “a utopian possibility of innocence and play in the face of these times of melancholic collapse”, according to comments made by Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, Sheena Wagstaff.

Following the announcement of Da Corte’s appointment for the New York Met’s 2021 season, Max Hollein, The Met’s Marina Kellen French director, said:

“We are thrilled that Alex Da Corte will bring his imaginative vision to the Cantor Roof Garden this spring. The installation, which the artist initiated as the pandemic first took hold of the world, evokes notions of uncertainty, nostalgia, sadness, and hope so inherent in our turbulent times. With this commission, Da Corte has created a work of art that meets the present moment and its challenges with the promise of optimism.”

Da Corte is yet to comment on the announcement himself – though with just two months to go until his exhibition’s debut, it’s sure to be ‘all systems go’ in ensuring that As Long As The Sun Lasts is ready to unveil to legions of excited visitors in the spring.

We can’t wait to get a first look!

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