The Met Breuer, unfinished

Met Breuer lobby
Marcel Breuer,  born in    Hungary,   architect and designer, is  one of the most-influential exponents of the International Style.  He is equally celebrated for his achievements in architecture and furniture. 

To escape persecution by the Nazis since he was of Jewish descent, Marcel Breuer went to Hungary in 1933 but went on to England in 1935  and, finally, to the US in 1937.


De Bijenkorf department
store in Rotterdam
 (Wikipedia photo)

Breuer moved to New York City in 1946. He    attracted numerous major commissions: the Sarah Lawrence College Theatre in Bronxville, New York,    De Bijenkorf department store in Rotterdam,  IBM  research center,  in  France.  


Met Breuer

The building for Whitney Museum of American Art  by Marcel Breuer in  New York City  was completed  in 1966.  Whitney museum several  years earlier     purchased a 13,000-square-foot lot at Madison and 75th Street, the site of an apartment building that had lost its financing.

Breuer  wrote in his notes on the project: “Its form and material should have identity and weight … in the midst of the dynamic jungle of our colorful city. It should transform the vitality of the street into the sincerity and profundity of art.”
 
New Yorker wrote three weeks ago in its article :
 Whitney might not have existed at all if the Met had accepted Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s offer, in 1929, of five hundred works of American art, plus an endowment to sweeten the deal. But the Met declined the donation. When the building—the Whitney’s third home—first opened, in 1966, Marcel Breuer’s gloriously intransigent upside-down ziggurat, made of granite-clad concrete, proved controversial. One detractor dubbed it “the monster of Madison Avenue.” But Breuer had a clear vision, as he told a reporter at the time: “Outside, it is expression; inside, only proportion. It stands back and lets you see the pictures.”
Whitney now have a new  building located  between the High Line and the Hudson River. And Metropolitan Museum of Art  launch its first season of programming in the landmark building by Marcel Breuer on Madison Avenue at 75th Street in New York.


Albrecht Durer  Salvator Mundi, ca. 1505

The opening exhibition  at the Met Breuer is  Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible, which  put side by side more recent pieces like Bruce Nauman sculptures and never-before-seen Twombly panels with over 550 years of historical art (including works by Titian, Leonardo da Vinci and Cézanne). It features historical works and contemporary pieces from the museum’s collection and numerous international loans. 


Leonardo’s exquisite drawing, Head of a Woman  is  loaned by the National Gallery in Parma, and Titian’s large, and violent, 1570s composition, Flaying of Marsyas have been rarely seen outside the Czech Republic.
Featuring 197 works dating from the Renaissance to the present, the galleries contain two kinds of objects: those that were, for whatever reason, left accidentally unfinished by the artist, and those that are finished works of art that adopt a deliberately unfinished style.
El Greco , "The vision  of Saint John" (1608-14)


It is rare that an exhibition covering such a broad time span can trace a theme as intimate and essential to the creative process,” said Sheena Wagstaff, the Met’s chief curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, in a statement. “This sweep of art history throws into sharp focus the ongoing concern of artists about the ‘finishedness’ of their work—which, in the 20th century, they co-opt as a radical tool that changes our understanding of Modernism.

Gustav Klimt, “Posthumous Portrait of
 Ria Munk III” (1917–18) 

Metropolitan museum wrote about the new building: The Met Breuer   provides additional space for the public to explore the art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries through the global breadth and historical reach of The Met's unparalleled collection.



The new building opened  to the public on March 18, 2016.  The Met Breuer is closed on Monday, and  Metropolitan Museum on 5th avenue and cloisters are open. If you buy tickets at a museum ticket counter, pay what you wish.  Ticket includes same-day admission to The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters.