Hew Locke | Gilt | Metropolitan Museum of Art

Hales is delighted to announce the unveiling of Hew Locke's facade commission for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The acclaimed Guyanese-British artist Hew Locke has created four new sculptures for The Met Fifth Avenue's facade niches, marking the third in a series of site-specific commissions for the exterior of the Museum. Fashioned into the shape of trophies-emblems of competition and victory-and covered with a thin layer of gilding, the works, collectively titled Gilt, reflect on the exercise and representation of power. Featuring details inspired by objects in The Met collection, Gilt leverages the relationship between guilt and gold (gilt) across 3,000 years of art history, exploring the routes objects travel over time, as well as the material and symbolic values that accrue to them as they change hands.

"Hew Locke creates powerful, dynamic and beautiful work that deals with serious subject matter such as race, power, migration, and greed. The four trophies he has created for the facade reference The Met collection while also offering new narratives and untold stories across histories, geographies, and artistic styles," commented Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director of The Met. "This annual commission is incredibly important to the Museum, as the works that occupy The Met's facade niches serve as public ambassadors for the institution, welcoming visitors and passersby alike. We know that all will be dazzled by Locke's work."
Rooted in his study of both art history and political history, Locke's practice is premised on appropriation, juxtaposition, and recombination. Assemblage, in which disparate materials from disparate places and times collide, is key to his work. As with Gilt, Locke's primary materials are readymade: he relies heavily on an inventory of found images and symbols, from trophies and coats of arms to works of art, warships, public sculptures and so on. The two largest sculptures that flank the Museum's main entrance, Trophy 2 and Trophy 3, feature details drawn from six objects in the Museum's collection. And they themselves are reliefs-facades- propped up at the back by stainless steel braces. The outermost sculptures, Trophy 1 and Trophy 4, each appear to be fragments of a trophy and are meant to seem damaged, as if they have fallen victim to acts of violence and desecration. 



Hew Locke



1000 5th Ave

New York

NY 10028

United States


15 September 2022 - 30 May 2023


Click here for the Metropolitan Museum of Art website.

September 8, 2022