AAJ Press
Art & Public Space, Commissions, Commissions & Projects, Installation, Urban Design

Cornelia Parker: Transitional Object (PsychoBarn), The Roof Garden Commission, The Met, New York

Cornelia Parker has created a site-specific installation on the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The installation is the fourth in a series of commissions created specifically for the outdoor space. Transitional Object (PsychoBarn) is realised as a film set constructed to a smaller scale than a ‘real’ building. The 30-foot high, three-storey building consists of two façades attached to scaffolding. Its aesthetic was inspired by the pictorial genres of Edward Hopper paintings – particularly House by the Railroad,1925; traditional American vernacular architecture – the materials were recycled from a red barn in upstate New York; and the cinematographic house Alfred Hitchcock created for the film Psycho, 1960.

Edward Hopper, House by the Railroad

Red Barn, Photograph by Donald Polaski

The Roof Garden Commission:
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden opened in 1987, and in 2013, the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum initiated a new series of site-specific commissions which have featured the work of Imran Qureshi, 2013, Dan Graham2014, and Pierre Huyghe, 2015.

Cornelia Parker is known for her large-scale, often site-specific, installations. Her engagement with the fragility of existence and the transformation of materials is exemplified in two works: Cold Dark Matter,1991, a cartoon-like reconstruction of an exploded army shed, and Heart of Darkness,2004, the formal arrangement of charred remains from a forest fire.

The Roof Garden exhibition is organized by Sheena Wagstaff, Beatrice Galilee, Daniel Brodsky Associate Curator of Architecture and Design in the Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, and supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Cornelia Parker: Transitional Object (PsychoBarn). The Roof Garden. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. April 19 – October 31 2016

Publication: Cornelia Parker. The Roof Garden Commission. Sheena Wagstaff, Beatrice Galilee. Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press. 

Images: Cornelia Parker. Transitional Object (PsychoBarn). Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Edward Hopper, 1882-1967. House by the Railroad, 1925. Courtesy of MoMA

Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho,1960

Red Barn, upstate New York. Photograph by Donald Polaski


About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space


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