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Charles Atlas | Charles Atlas, Nicholas Cullinan, Johanna Fateman, Lia Gangitano, Mika Tajima | An Art Book Series Event

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March 4, 2015

FREE - Auditorium doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Because We Must, 1989
Because We Must, 1989

In celebration of the publication of his new monograph, video artist and filmmaker Charles Atlas discusses his stunning new book with Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Nicholas Cullinan, founder of PARTICIPANT INC. Lia Gangitano, and artist Mika Tajima. The panel is moderated by writer and musician Johanna Fateman. 

Published by Prestel Publishing Inc. in cooperation with Luhring Augustine, Charles Atlas looks back at a career that has spanned four decades. Developed in close collaboration with Atlas, this beautiful volume captures the movement and pace of the artist’s celebrated and highly collaborative time-based art. This beautiful volume profiles over 75 projects by Charles Atlas including works recently exhibited at Tate Modern and the 2012 Whitney Biennial. As one of the first artists to explore the possibilities of video as a genre of expression, and especially through his long-lasting collaboration with Merce Cunningham, Atlas has teamed with numerous dancers and artists to create projects that range from feature-length documentaries to shorter media works, transforming the way performance is viewed by its audiences and the art world. In this inventive publication, Atlas’s own commentary accompanies exquisite images that capture the structure and flow of his work in film, video, dance, and performance. The volume also includes interviews between Atlas and a number of writers and collaborators who have played a critical role in the development and reception of his oeuvre, as well as an array of fascinating ephemera from the artist’s personal archives.

As Seen on TV, 1987
As Seen on TV, 1987

An exhibition of his work can be seen at Luhring Augustine in a solo exhibition on view from February 7 to March 14, 2015.

Copies of the book are available for purchase and signing at the end of the event

Charles Atlas has been a pioneering figure in film and video for over four decades. He has extended the limits of his medium, forging new territory in a far-reaching range of genres, stylistic approaches, and techniques. Throughout his production, the artist has consistently fostered collaborative relationships, working intimately with such artists and performers as Leigh Bowery, Michael Clark, Douglas Dunn, Marina Abramović, Yvonne Rainer, Mika Tajima/New Humans, Antony and the Johnsons, and most notably Merce Cunningham, for whom he served as in-house videographer for a decade from the early 1970s through 1983; their close working relationship continued until Cunningham’s death in 2009. Born in St. Louis, MO in 1949, Atlas has lived and worked in New York City since the early 1970s. His work has been exhibited domestically and internationally in such institutions as Tate Modern, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 

Painting by Numbers, 2011
Painting by Numbers, 2011

Nicholas Cullinan is Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Before joining the Met, he was Curator of International Modern Art at Tate Modern in London, where he worked on major exhibitions including: Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia (2008); Cy Twombly: Cycles and Seasons (2008); Pop Life: Art in a Material World (2009); Tacita Dean: FILM, the twelfth Unilever commission for the Turbine Hall (2011); and Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye (2012). He also curated contemporary group shows at Tate Modern such as Learn to Read (2007) and Stutter (2009). Dr. Cullinan spearheaded founding an acquisition committee at Tate Modern to collect modern and contemporary art from Russia, Eastern European and Central Asia. Recent exhibitions for Tate Modern include Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs and Kazimir Malevich (both 2014). Before joining the Tate in 2007, Dr. Cullinan was the Hilla Rebay International Fellow at the Guggenheim Museums in New York, Bilbao, and Venice and previously worked at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. He has taught at institutions including the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and curated independent projects such as the exhibition Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London and the Fondazione Prada’s opening exhibition for Ca’ Corner della Regina, Venice (both 2011). Dr. Cullinan holds his BA, MA, and PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art. He is the author of many essays on modern and contemporary art for exhibition catalogues, and articles for publications such as Artforum, The Burlington Magazine, Frieze, Kaleidoscope, Mousse, October, and Tate Etc.

Views on Video, 2005
Views on Video, 2005

Johanna Fateman is a musician, writer, and owner of Seagull Salon in New York City. Her cultural criticism has appeared in Artforum, Bookforum, Apology, and The New Inquiry. She worked closely with artist Charles Atlas, assisting him with the writing of the extended captions for his first comprehensive monograph.

In 2001, Lia Gangitano founded PARTICIPANT INC, a not-for-profit art space, presenting exhibitions by Virgil Marti, Charles Atlas, Kathe Burkhart, Michel Auder, and Renée Green, among others. As former curator of Thread Waxing Space, NY, her exhibitions, screenings, and performances include Spectacular Optical (1998), Luther Price: Imitation of Life (1999), Børre Sæthre: Module for Mood (2000) and Sigalit Landau (2001). She is editor of Dead Flowers (2010) and the forthcoming anthology, The Alternative to What? Thread Waxing Space and the '90s. As an associate curator, she co-curated Dress Codes (1993) and Boston School (1995) for The ICA, Boston, and edited New Histories (with Steven Nelson, 1997) and Boston School (1995). She has contributed to publications including Renée Green, Endless Dreams and Time-based Streams, Lovett/Codagnone, Whitney Biennial 2006-Day for Night, and 2012 Whitney Biennial on Charles Atlas. She served as a Curatorial Advisor for MoMA PS1, with exhibitions including Lutz Bacher, My Secret Life (2009).

Hail the New Puritan, 1986
Hail the New Puritan, 1986

Mika Tajima employs sculpture, painting, video, music, and performance, often drawing on contradictions in modernist design and architecture to consider how the performing subject (e. g. speaker, factory worker, musician, filmmaker) is constructed in spaces in which material objects outline action and engagement. Tajima’s most recent work extends her interrogation of “the built environment and the maximized performer to the global flow of life energies sought by unraveling systems.” Tajima also works collaboratively under the moniker New Humans, including projects with Vito Acconci, Charles Atlas, Judith Butler, and C. Spencer Yeh, among others.  Tajima’s work has been shown internationally, at venues including South London Gallery, London; Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; 2008 Whitney Biennial; SculptureCenter; PS1 Contemporary Art Center; Bass Museum, Miami; MCA Chicago; and the Walker Art Center. Tajima works in Brooklyn, New York. She earned BA from Bryn Mawr College; MFA from Columbia University.

In its seventh year the program series An Art Book, initiated and organized by Arezoo Moseni, is a celebration of the essential importance and beauty of art books. The events showcase book presentations and discussions by world renowned artists, critics, curators, gallerists, historians and writers.