Big Sky, Big Art

It’s tough, but not impossible, to beat the views of Central Park from a Fifth Avenue penthouse. From atop the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the verdant ocean crashes into view on three sides, lapping against the building’s walls below. On Tuesday, May 1, the museum will open the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, where winter-weary visitors can revel in the one-two punch of glorious sunshine and fine art.

Up here, the Roof’s unparalleled exhibition space promises to heighten the impact of Frank Stella’s two stainless-steel and carbon-fiber sculptures, adjoeman and memantra, and his gigantic architecture model, Chinese Pavilion. The outdoor pieces will accompany a concurrent indoor show of Mr. Stella’s paintings and smaller architecture models. This is his first solo show at the Met.

“The work is so massive in scale, so monumental, that we have to use a crane,” said Anne Strauss, associate curator of 19th-century modern and contemporary art at the Met. “With the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, the architectonic aspect of both the sculptures and the architectural work is very fitting.” Added Gary Tinterow, the museum’s curator in charge of 19th-century modern and contemporary art: “The [pieces] will resonate with the skyline, but I would imagine that their most important characteristic will be their dissidence, because they don’t resemble anything in the surrounding environment.They are marvelous, energetic, sweeping sculptures.”

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, http://www.metmuseum.org

Big Sky, Big Art