Phenomenal Nature: Mrinalini Mukherjee

The Met Breuer

The art of Mrinalini Murkherjee embodies the nuances of an intimate relationship between past and present, humanity and deity, nature and manmade. Both subtle and overt in the forms that these relationships manifest, the design of the gallery seeks to highlight and convey the narrative of the work’s production, purpose and presentation. As the early work clearly suggests, and the latter exemplifies, the forms and materials fold in onto themselves forcing their readings to overlap, expand and collapse while sustaining a striking presence. The space seeks to operate in the same way.

Mukherjee sought to avoid notions of high art, both in material composition and presentation. The design of the gallery seeks to honor these important aspects by inverting the typical condition whereby art is isolated through various protective methods. A floor overlay acts as the main formal and organizational device. Its figure-ground relationship with the existing stone floor shapes the trajectories of visitors through the exhibition and acts as a soft psychological barrier. This allows the artworks to be presented on the exposed gallery floor without the need of traditional barriers. A translucent curtain, suspended below the ceiling and shy of the floor, arranges the work into key groupings, while loosely creating rooms and voids for the art and visitor to interact at different levels of intimacy. The resulting condition provides an experiential immediacy through which the visitor can understand the work both through its craft and its performative qualities.


Shanay Jhaveri, curator
Frank Mondragón, graphic designer
Daniel Koppich, graphic desginer
Sarah Parke, production artist

Copyright © 2021 - Alejandro Stein