Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden Commission: Héctor Zamora, Lattice Detour
On August 27, 2020, we had the great occasion of visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Rooftop Garden Commission. The art of Héctor Zamora, named ‘Lattice Detour’ could be found there on this fine day.
Fine day because it was the pre-Reopening Preview of the museum after having been closed for months due to the COVID-19 Crisis and Pandemic.
The piece stands in fine coordination with the city’s skyline in the distance. Check it out should you decide to visit this landmark museum sometime in the future!
As is the case with other commissions on the museums roof garden, there hangs a placard detailing much of what’s needed to be known as it relates to the presented art work.
Below the following video is that placard transcribed.
Visitors to the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden this year may at first be mystified to encounter an imposing artwork that seems to dictate their movement around the space and screens the view of Central Park and Manhattan’s skyline. But artist Héctor Zamora (born Mexico, 1974) intends for us to have this initial response: such is the impact of barriers that thwart access to open, expansive outlooks on the world.
Zamora’s intervention references one of the defining symbols of our time – the wall. Yet this wall is created for reasons beyond hindering. The bricks stacked eleven feet high are perforated; they let in light and allow air to flow through. As an architectural element, it references celosia walls – the openwork brick structures found in vernacular architecture of the Middle East, Africa, Iberia, and Latin America that provide t shade and ventilation. The wall’s basic unit – a terracotta brick made of Mexican earth – is an ancient building material that relates more closely to the natural environment of the park than it does to the steel skyscrapers rising high on the horizon.
As you navigate around the wall’s gentle arc take note of the geometric patterns and shadows cast by the lattice. These elements suggest the work’s equivocal role as a partition. It is as if the wall itself is beckoning us to look through to the far side. In this way, Zamora invites us to reconsider the panoramic view and the implications of obstruction and permeability with a social space.