Art and Bacchanalia on the Met Rooftop

Written by
Laura van Straaten

Some people think of the roof garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with its great views of Central Park, as but a backdrop for boozy summer date nights.

That doesn’t bother Adrián Villar Rojas, a critically acclaimed artist whose projects across the globe — in New York; London; Paris; Istanbul; Venice; and his native Argentina — have ruminated on the ruin of the world and who is fond of citing Borges, the psychoanalyst Melanie Klein and Wittgenstein as sources of inspiration.

Upon winning the coveted rooftop commission — open to the public starting April 14 and closing Oct. 29 — the artist embraced the sociability of the space, which attracted half a million visitors last year. In fact, he upped the ante by morphing treasures from the Met’s own collection into a tableau of Bacchanalian mayhem.

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