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The Met Breuer will be NYC's most modern art museum yet

How the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new annex is looking ahead to the future of art.

Today, the old Whitney Museum space reopens as the newest outpost of the Met — but the old tenant’s focus on modern art will remain.

Named for the architect who designed the landmarked building, the Met Breuer (pronounced broy-er) on Madison Avenue and 75th Street will be a distinctly modern museum that presents 20th century and contemporary art, with the rest of the Met’s vast collection serving as context.

That, combined with expanding the Met's most innovative live arts program, could yield the city’s most of-the-moment museum yet.

The Met’s collections span 5,000 years of art, so there was plenty to draw from for the opening exhibitions. But instead of going for easy, populist fare or controversy, the Met Breuer is peering inside the creative process withUnfinished: Thoughts Left Invisible, which tackles the question of when a work of art is complete. Using 197 works spanning the Renaissance to the present, it finds cases of abandonment, interruption, or simply finished but not in a traditional sense. Through Sept. 4, third and fourth floors

Just as GIFs and videos are displacing traditional photos as a way to depict life, the Met Breuer is filling its halls with dynamic art as much as the works on its walls. Performances, films, music and other contemporary arts will expand the Met’s existingMetLiveArtsprogram, chiefly by making its third opening “exhibit” a residency by Grammy-nominated composer and pianistVijay Iyer, who will stage “marathon performances” solo and with other artists (through March 31). Coming up are a film series curated by Thomas Beard of Brooklyn’s electronic art venue Light Industry, and the programming even spills over into Carnegie Hall.

An entire nation, time or culture can’t, and shouldn’t, be defined by a small handful of artists. To that end, the Met Breuer is giving India’sNasreen Mohamediher first retrospective in the U.S. Though fairly little known outside her country, Mohamedi was one of its most vital artists to emerge post-independence in 1947 for her modernist line drawings that create entire worlds in angles and spaces. Through June 5, second floor

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