Yes, it’s time again for The Met’s annual “Roof Garden Commission,” one of the city’s premier showcases for outdoor art. This year’s installation comes courtesy of Alicja Kwade, and it’s literally out of this world: A sort of model of the Solar System rendered as a group of nine stone spheres balanced on what can only be described as a giant jungle gym.
Kwade, a Polish artist who calls Berlin home, is known for elegant sculptures that meditate on the relationship between subjectivity and space, which is to say how we use the evidence of our own eyes as a means of making sense of the world—and how unreliable those attempts often turn out to be. For her piece at The Met, titled ParaPivot, Kwade uses a cosmic metaphor to make this point, depicting the planets as stationary objects that are only set into motion by the change in your perspective as you move around the work. Especially cool is the way ParaPivot frames NYC’s skyline by, say shoving a big ball of rock into your view as you look at Billionaires’ Row from a particular angle.
The smoothly polished stones are sourced from nine different countries, ranging from Brazil to Norway, and their variations in color suggest the atmospheres of our celestial neighbors, as well as Earth’s own blue-marble appearance. ParaPivot is on view until Oct 27, so there’s still plenty of time for you to space out on the roof of The Met.