Blood, Birth and Flower Buds Collide in New Met Exhibit

By Victoria Bekiempis on May 14, 2013 7:39am 

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 Artist Imran Qureshi's rooftop installation at the Met, 1000 Fifth Ave., opens May 14, 2013.
Rooftop Art at the Met
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UPPER EAST SIDE — An acrylic crime scene overlooks the New York skyline. 

Smears and swirls and splatters of red paint stain the concrete of the roof garden at the  Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., in a new installation representing the violence of death and promise of birth, artist Imran Qureshi told DNAinfo New York.

The installation, which opens Tuesday, reflects the Pakistani artist's "emotional response to violence occurring across the globe in recent decades," museum officials further explained in a statement.

The project — which overlooks Central Park and takes up most of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden's 8,000 square feet of open air floor space — also features many elements of traditional Islamic art, such as repeating geometric and floral patterns, museum officials and Qureshi said.

"It's about life and death," Qureshi said. "At the first sight, it repels you because of the violence, but you find that it's not just blood — it's something else."

"It's like beauty and hope," he said.

Museum officials added that Qureshi's work emphatically speaks to current events.

“For years, Imran Qureshi has created emotionally wrought, thought-provoking installations devoted to themes of tragedy and regeneration, reflecting conditions that prevail almost as a way of life in his home country  — and that now, sadly, also resonate in the wake of the recent Boston Marathon tragedy,” Thomas P. Campbell, director and CEO of the Met, said in a statement.

"The installation’s presence on the Roof Garden this summer creates an especially timely and evocative commentary on these devastating events, and encourages us to respond thoughtfully both as individuals and as citizens of a shared community.”

Though Qureshi started to analyze the rooftop workspace in February, the painting part of the project took about a week to complete, he said.

The installation is the first to be painted directly on the garden's floor, museum officials said, and patrons are "encouraged to walk on it as they view it."

The show is on view until Nov. 3 2013, officials said.

More information on the installation or other exhibitions can be found on the Metropolitan Museum of Art's website.

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