With a final series of performances beginning tonight and continuing through New Year’s Eve at the Park Avenue Armory, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company will close, ending nearly sixty years in operation.
Weekly Art Rx
After a whirlwind of parties, events and an overwhelming amount of art at Art Basel Miami, we have just what you need to settle back into the New York swing of things. This week’s Art Rx is a mixed bag of shows and events around the city that include some of the last performances of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at BAM, a discussion about the legality of appropriation art and documentary photographs of old Manhattan by a group of young radicals.
A Letter to Merce Cunningham
Dear Merce Cunningham,
As your company comes to a close this winter, I have been on the look out for all things Merce. Wanting to understand you better and hoping that I could still understand you even after you have passed, I visited Charles Atlas’s video tribute to you now at the New Museum not just once, but twice.
An Unknown Chapter at America’s Bauhaus
In the summer of 1952, artist Jack Tworkov traveled to Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina. A leading figure of the New York School, his time at the influential American school, which some people consider “America’s Bauhaus,” is the subject of a new exhibition. We talked to the curator, Jason Andrew.
Walker Art Center Snags Merce Cunningham’s Art Collection
The Star-Tribune has the story of how Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota purchased a treasure trove of American art accumulated by dance legend Merce Cunningham. The stash “includes at least 150 major objects and perhaps thousands of smaller items,” according to the newspaper.
Graphic: How Art and Modern Dance Mixed in Manhattan
Following up on Merel van Beeren’s investigation into the future of Merce Cunningham’s Studio after its founder’s death, we bring you a graphic history of the intersection of visual art and modern dance. From Cunningham collaborating with John Cage, his life partner, and Robert Rauschenberg, to sculptor Isamu Noguchi’s work with Martha Graham, it’s all here.
With Founder Gone, What’s the Future of Merce Cunningham’s Studio?
A small group of dance students recently gathered on the floor of the Cunningham Studio to try to save their dance program from an early death. “There’s no way the studio won’t make it,” Suzanne Thomas, a French student, said. She is passionate about preserving it for a reason: “Pure Cunningham doesn’t really exist anywhere else.” The community revolving around choreographer Merce Cunningham, a giant of modern dance, has been in a state of flux since his passing in 2009. Although the choreographer himself and the Cunningham Trust meticulously outlined a plan for both the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, which would come to an end after a final farewell tour, and the Cunningham Foundation for after Cunningham was gone, the fate of the Cunningham Studio’s educational program was not so clear cut.