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Metropolitan Museum Presents Sculptural Installations by Katrin Sigurdardotti

Katrin Sigurdardottir at the Met is an exhibition of two new sculptural installations created specifically for the Metropolitan by Sigurdardottir, an Icelandic artist (born in 1967), who lives and works in New York City and Reykjavik. Sigurdardottir is known for her highly detailed renditions of places, both real and fictional, that often incorporate an element of surprise.

Entitled Boiseries, the installations are full-scale interpretations of 18th-century French rooms preserved at the Metropolitan Museum, one from the Hôtel de Crillon (1777-80) on the Place de la Concorde, Paris, and the other from the Hôtel de Cabris (ca. 1774) at Grasse in Provence.

The exhibition is made possible by an anonymous donor and Sarah Peter.

Visitors to the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing’s south mezzanine gallery will encounter one Boiserie as the exterior of an enclosed chamber. Looking through surveillance mirrors, they will be able to see inside the room that Sigurdardottir has created, complete with replica furniture based on the Hôtel de Crillon period room in the Museum’s Wrightsman Galleries.

In contrast, visitors to the north mezzanine gallery will be invited to walk among panels of the second Boiserie, based on the Hôtel de Cabris period room, where Sigurdardottir has altered scale and proportion to create something akin to a folding screen rather than an enclosed space.

The installations will address simultaneously the wonder and the complexities of presenting and viewing a period room as an object in a museum, and they will provoke self-conscious reflection of the museum experience. Inspired by authentic interiors, with carved and gilded paneling, the artist’s distilled environments are composed of materials including fiberboard, mirrors, and white paint. One is entirely handcrafted, following centuries-old traditions; the other is digitally machined, using advanced technological and fabrication techniques.

Katrin Sigurdardottir at the Met is organized by Anne L. Strauss, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. It is the seventh in the Metropolitan’s series of solo exhibitions of the work of contemporary artists at mid-career, which has featured Tony Oursler (2005), Kara Walker (2006), Neo Rauch (2007), Tara Donovan (2008), Raqib Shaw (2008-2009), and Pablo Bronstein (2009-2010).

Katrin Sigurdardottir’s work has been the subject of exhibitions at galleries and museums, including S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent (2009), Reykjavik Museum of Art (2000-2008), P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2006), The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2005), Sala Siqueiros, Mexico City (2005), and Fondazione Sandretto Turin (2004).

Image: Katrin Sigurdardottir. Boiserie (detail), 2010. Courtesy of the artist.

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