The exhibition coincides with the North American premiere of
Nico Muhly’s opera Two Boys, opening at the Met on October 21
New York, NY — On Tuesday, September 24, the Arnold & Marie Schwartz Gallery Met will open Laurie Simmons's Two Boys, a new exhibition presented in conjunction with the North American premiere of Nico Muhly’s opera of the same name. Simmons has created 4 original photographs for the show, which will be on display in Gallery Met through January 15, 2014. The opera Two Boys, which explores identity and desire in the shadowy world of the Internet, opens at the Met on October 21 in a production directed by Bartlett Sher and conducted by David Robertson.
Simmons is an internationally recognized artist whose work has often involved images of dolls, mannequins, and dummies in otherwise realistic settings. Her film and photographic works have been exhibited around the world. Her most recent series of photographs THE LOVE DOLL / DAYS 1-31 was shown at Salon 94 in New York as well as at galleries and museums in Paris, London, Gothenburg, Sweden, and Tokyo. Her work also appears in the current Venice Biennale which runs through November 24, 2013. Her first film, The Music of Regret (2006), is a musical in 3 acts (starring Meryl Streep), which imagines dialogue and song between inanimate objects from Simmons’s past work. Art in America has written of the artist that “in Simmons’s toy world we immediately comprehend how stifling such real-world environments are, and how limiting is the petty-bourgeois aesthetic they reflect.”
“I was drawn to the story of Two Boys, which involves the vastness, seduction and perils of the online world—something I think about often,” Simmons said. “ I had a specific feeling and a look in mind for the images. I wanted them to describe visually both the isolation and the focus a young boy might feel when completely immersed in the mental space of the web.”
Dodie Kazanjian, curator of Gallery Met since its opening in 2006, saw a potential parallel between Simmons’s work and the artificial world of the Internet as seen in Two Boys, and saw the show as an opportunity for Simmons to work with a new sort of subject.
“I knew Laurie was a Nico Muhly fan, and she’s often used female dolls in her work, but I knew she was looking to use male subjects,” Kazanjian said. “Two Boys seemed ready-made for her, a way to expand her vision.”
Gallery Met, located in the south lobby of the opera house, is open to the public Mondays through Fridays from 6 p.m. to the end of the last intermission and Saturdays from noon to the end of the evening performance’s last intermission. Admission is free and no appointments are required. Gallery Met is closed on Sundays.
Two Boys has its North American premiere at the Met on October 21 in a production conducted by David Robertson and directed by Bartlett Sher. The cast includes Jennifer Zetlan as Rebecca, Caitlin Lynch as Cynthia, Alice Coote as Anne Strawson, Sandra Piques Eddy as Fiona, Judith Forst as Anne’s Mum, Paul Appleby and Nicky Spence as Brian, Christopher Bolduc as Jake, and Keith Miller as Peter.
For more information on the Met’s contemporary visual arts initiatives, which are organized by Dodie Kazanjian, please visit www.metopera.org/gallerymet.
About Gallery Met
The Arnold & Marie Schwartz Gallery Met, located in the opera house lobby’s south side, is a showcase for the contemporary works of art that reaffirms the company’s long history of relationships with major visual artists. Gallery Met, directed by Dodie Kazanjian since its inception in 2006, is made possible through an initial $1 million donation by Marie Schwartz, an Advisory Director on the Metropolitan Opera’s Board.
Gallery Met opened in September 2006 with Heroines, an exhibition of works inspired by the 2006-07 season’s new productions. The artists represented included Cecily Brown, George Condo, John Currin, Barnaby Furnas, Richard Prince, David Salle, and others. Gallery Met’s first solo exhibition, Stage Fright by Argentine artist Guillermo Kuitca, kicked off the 2007-08 season, followed by Hansel and Gretel, featuring artists from The New Yorker and the contemporary art scene. The works, based on the Brothers Grimm story, were on display during the run of the new production of Humperdinck’s fairy tale opera. In conjunction with the Met premiere of the Philip Glass opera Satyagraha during the 2008-2009 season, Gallery Met exhibited 18 portraits by Chuck Close of his composer friend in the exhibition Chuck Close Philip Glass 40 Years. That summer, Gallery Met presented eight portraits by Francesco Clemente in an exhibition called The Sopranos. The exhibition featured portraits of the divas who figured prominently in the Met’s 2008-09 season, with a hardcover catalog of Francesco Clemente: The Sopranos available in bookstores. Also in 2008-9, Gallery Met presented a solo exhibition by Canadian artist David Altmejd, coinciding with the premiere of John Adams’s opera Doctor Atomic, followed by the exhibition From the Met to the Met: Anselm Kiefer and Wagner’s “Ring”. In the first collaboration between the Metropolitan Opera and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wagner-inspired works by contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer were shown to coincide with the revival of Otto Schenk’s production which was making its final run at the opera house. The 2009-10 season opened with the Tosca-inspired exhibition Something About Mary, which showcased works about Mary Magdalene by 14 contemporary artists including Paul Chan, Marlene Dumas, Kiki Smith, George Condo, and John Currin. In 2010, William Kentridge’s Ad Hoc: Works for The Nose opened at Gallery Met in conjunction with the Met premiere of Shostakovich’s The Nose in a production directed by the artist. In the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, a four-artist series of works inspired by Der Ring des Nibelungen opened: Notations After the Ring by Julie Mehretu; Elizabeth Peyton’s Wagner; Peter Doig’s Siegfried + Poster Project; and Dana Schutz’s Götterdämmerung. In the 2012-13 season, Gallery Met presented Ariel and Other Spirits, a show by David Salle presented on the occasion of the Met premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Tempest, and George Condo’s Jesters, presented in conjunction with the premiere of a new staging of Verdi’s Rigoletto.