Monday, April 18, 2016

PsychoBarn:The Met's Roof Garden Installation:: Review by Polly Guerin

PsychoBarn Installation on the Metropolitan Roof
PsychoBarn, The Roof Garden Commission by Cornelia Parker, is set atop The Metropolitan Museum of Art, high above Central Park---providing an unusual contrast to the spectacular Manhattan skyline
     With one foot in reality and the other in fiction the large-scale sculpture, nearly 30 feet high, was inspired by the the painting of Edward Hopper (1925)  and by two emblems of American architecture---the classic, red barn and the sinister Bates mansion from Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film, Psycho.
The Roof Garden Commission: Cornelia Parker, Transitional Object (PsychoBarn) is fabricated from a deconstructed red bard and seems at first to be a genuine house, but is in fact a scaled-down structure consisting of two facades propped up from behind with scaffolding. Simultaneously authentic and illusory, the sculpture evokes the psychological associations embedded in architectural spaces.  The installation is on view to the public from April 19 through October 31, 2016 (weather permitting).           
     "For this summer's Roof Garden Commission, Cornelia has developed an astonishing architectural folly," said Sheena Wagstaff, the Museum's Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, that intertwines a Hitchcock-inspired iconic structure with the materiality of the rural vernacular ranging from innocent domesticity to horror, from the authenticity of landscape to the artifice of a film set. Cornelia's installation expresses perfectly her ability to transform cliches to beguile both eye and mind."

There is no doubt that Hitchcock based his film on Edward Hopper's well-known, "House by the Railroad," a house that was symbolic of the lost that is felt when modern progress leaves an agrarian society behind. 
Ms. Parker has made a career out of taking pieces of material and elaborately combining them in surprising ways. In this instance the primary materials in Ms. Parker's installation PsychoBarn, all came from a single farm building that was once scheduled for demolition in an upstate New York Town. 
     Ms. Parker's  oeuvre is that of an installation-artist and her works have become popular in museums, galleries and art fairs.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! The work of the artist is featured on the Met's website, as well as Facebook, Instagram and Twitters via the hashtag#Met Roof.  Head for the Roof Garden Bar and lounge away a daytime visit and for cocktails, when the night becomes bewitchingly enchanting, there is a Martini Bar which is open on the Roof Garden on Friday and Saturday evenings (5:30-8pm).  Fan mail welcome at  Visit Polly's Blogs at and click in the left-hand column to a Blog's direct link that resonates with your interest. 


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