The 46-year-old Kuitca, a native of Buenos Aires who is considered one of Latin America's leading modern artists, has produced two new multi-piece series for the exhibition, which has been organized by Gallery Met director Dodie Kazanjian.
32 Seating Plans, created for Gallery Met, is a collection of abstract works on paper inspired by the seating charts of such famous opera houses as the Op_ra-Bastille and the Palais Garnier in Paris, the Teatro Col‹n in Buenos Aires, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden) in London as well as the Met. (Two selections from the series are shown below.)
The Flying Dutchman is a series of drawings adapted from Kuitca's own set designs for a 2003 production (conducted by Charles Dutoit) of Wagner's Der fliegende Holl‹nder at the Teatro Col‹n. A recurring motif in Kuitca's Dutchman, as in much of his work, is the conveyor belt; according to a statement from the Met, the artist sees "the baggage carousel [as] a symbol of fear and anxiety, the idea of the public and performative action of waiting with anticipation for the arrival of an object. This is a kind of stage in itself."
Stage Fright by Guillermo Kuitca runs from September 19 through November 1 at the Arnold & Marie Schwartz Gallery Met, located in the south side of the Metropolitan Opera House lobby. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (6 p.m. on days with no performance) and Sunday from 12 noon to 6 p.m. Gallery Met exhibitions are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.metopera.org.