Brian Calvin: Così fan tutte

January 25 – March 31, 2018

It’s fitting that, as the Met Museum presents a blockbuster retrospective of works by David Hockney—an artist with a close association to this Met—the Metropolitan Opera has invited artist Brian Calvin, whose painting is often compared to that of Hockney, to create a show of work on the occasion of the company’s new production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. “Mozart’s opera has such whimsy and humor—along with darker undercurrents,” says Gallery Met Director Dodie Kazanjian, “and Brian, with his vibrant, psychologically astute portraits, is the perfect fit.”

Calvin found inspiration in the opera’s dual pairs of lovers, who don disguises to blur the lines of identity.  “Rather than illustrating scenes from the plot of Così fan tutte, I lingered on the organizing principle of duets in Mozart’s opera,” the artist says, “exploring harmony and dissonance through repetition and difference.  The overlapping figures interlock into a unified expression of complicity, ‘putting their heads together.’”


Così fan tutte, 2017
Acrylic on canvas

36 x 24 inches


Duet (Così fan tutte), 2018
Acrylic on panel

40 x 30 inches

Duet (1) 2018
Acrylic on canvas
70 x 56 inches

Duet (II) 2018
Acrylic on canvas
70 x 56 inches


Despina 2017
Acrylic on linen
30 x 24 inches