Each year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art cues in the spring season with its annual rooftop commission—a site-specific artwork, with sweeping views of Central Park and the city beyond as its backdrop. This year’s installation, by Berlin-based artist Alicja Kwade, brings an otherworldly element to the popular warm weather attraction with two steel-and-stone sculptures that evoke a miniature solar system.

ParaPivot (detail), Photo by Hyla Skopitz, courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Titled ParaPivot I and II, respectively, each piece consists of multiple rectangular, powder-coated steel frames that intersect at oblique angles; nine stone spheres—some of which measure more than three feet in diameter and weigh over a ton—resemble planets resting placidly in between the frames or at their corners. The structures, which invite people to walk through and around them, stretch out around several axis points, suggesting the globes’ orbital pathways.

“Kwade’s sculptural constellation playfully frames the jagged skyline of the city while cleverly provoking us at the same time to think about how we understand the universe out there, beyond the sky over The Met’s roof,” said Sheena Wagstaff, the museum’s Leonard A. Lauder chairman of modern and contemporary art.


The installation opened this week and will be on view until October 27, 2019.