David Zwirner to Represent Dancer and Choreographer Sarah Michelson – ARTnews.com

The latest person to join the roster of mega-gallery David Zwirner is neither a painter nor a sculptor with a well-established market but a choreographer who has earned her bona fides in the world of dance and performance art.

Dancer Sarah Michelson has inked representation with David Zwirner, which has plans to show new work by her at its newly inaugurated Los Angeles location in 2024. It will be the second time the gallery has mounted work by Michelson, after her piece Oh No Game Over appeared at its New York space in 2021.

Yet much of Michelson’s work for David Zwirner will take the less conventional form of a residency program for the gallery that will see dancers work and perform within its spaces each year.

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In a statement, Michelson said, “I am happy and nervous to announce that I am joining the David Zwirner gallery. The gallery, David, Thor [Shannon, a gallery director she will work with], and the whole team have been so damn kind and supportive about my dance making in this context, and I am on a huge learning curve, but honestly am deeply excited about this next step and honored. One thing that is very important to me as I make this move to work with the gallery—who are so open and responsive—is to help develop a platform in which other dance artists can have access to this structure in the way I have had. More on this soon—here goes y’all.”

A student of Merce Cunningham, Michelson produces performances that place an emphasis on physicality, requiring her dancers to enact movements that can be demanding and shifting around their settings to heighten how they pass through space. These performances, which can sometimes come with painted elements and stylized sets, are dotted with allusions to famed dance works.

Only recently has Michelson begun to create what is sometimes termed object-based art—works that can be shown more permanently in galleries.

In 2002, the New York Times deemed Michelson “one of the most original choreographic voices to emerge in ages,” and the reputation has stuck, with her work appearing in the Whitney Biennial and at spaces such as the Walker Art Center, the Kitchen, and Performance Space New York. In 2019, she was awarded a MacArthur “genius” fellowhsip.

At David Zwirner, she will be a part of a stable that includes market heavyweights such as Gerhard Richter, Yayoi Kusama, and Oscar Murillo.

Gallery founder David Zwirner said in a statement, “Dance has played such a decisive role in the history of twentieth-century art, and continues to inform contemporary art practices. And yet, rarely have choreographers received real-time support from the commercial art world. That support has come from nonprofit spaces, performance venues, and institutions, which have brought the dance world’s radicality to a broader audience, and corrected historical omissions when it comes to the work of dancers and choreographers. The temporal and ephemeral quality of dance stands in stark contrast to our social-media-saturated world, and it has proven to be one of our most vital art forms.

He continued, “Without a doubt, Sarah is one of the most exciting choreographers of her generation, and I am so honored to be working with her and, through her, to be able to support and promote dance artists in this new partnership.”

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