Michael Clark


DANCE MEETS ART: British dancer and choreographer Michael Clark is the next guest curator for Sotheby’s ongoing series of art exhibitions and auctions, Contemporary Curated.

Clark, known as one of the most rebellious Royal Ballet School alumni, is joining the likes of Erdem Moralioglu and Anya Hindmarch, who have previously curated exhibitions for the famed auction house.

Having always been informed by art and maintained close relationships with artists, such as Sarah Lucas, Leigh Bowery and Peter Doig, the process of curating the exhibition was a natural one for Clark, who currently serves as artistic associate at London’s Barbican Center.

The artworks he selected aim to showcase the “ongoing dance” between art, fashion and dance with movement being among the biggest themes of the works on display, from Rebecca Warren’s sculpture that exaggerates and distorts the female figure to Tom Wesselmann’s “Study for Sunset Nude,” an abstract drawing of a nude female figure.

Other highlights include Sarah Lucas’ “Ones Knob” created using cigarettes and beer cans, Oscar Murillo’s “Drawing Off the Wall” and an abstract piece by Günther Förg featuring a series of monochrome canvases.

Sarah Lucas' "Ones Knob"

Sarah Lucas’ “Ones Knob.”  Courtesy

“I’m slightly envious of something like the Günther Förg which takes abstraction to a level that I can’t,” said Clark.

Oscar Murillo’s painting is among the highest-valued items and is estimated to sell for between 120,000 pounds, or $148,363, and 180,000 pounds, or $222,545.

Clark’s ongoing relationship with artists has always nurtured the rebellious character that his choreographies are known for.

“From an early age, I found sanctuary at the art gallery in Aberdeen. It was a place that I discovered other worlds in and the artists who questioned the very notion of technique, as I was trying to get into a technique of my own,” he said.

Clark has often incorporated elements of music, art and popular culture in his work. In 2001, he teamed with Sarah Lucas on the performance “Before and After: The Fall,” for which the artist created a mobile structure in the shape of an arm that interacted with the dancers on stage.

Marina Ruiz Colomer, a contemporary art specialist at Sotheby’s who worked alongside Clark on the project, said that the personal perspective he brought to the table was eye-opening.

Zhizni Rebecca Warren

“Zhizni” by Rebecca Warren.  Courtesy

“It was really interesting because in the case of Sarah Lucas, he was living in her flat for a while and was helping her out with some of the art, so he knew how the piece had been made inside out. He was also telling us about his collaboration with her, which I found completely priceless,” said Colomer, highlighting that the collaboration with Clark will bring a different edge and a new type of audience to Sotheby’s.

She added that for future versions of the Contemporary Curated project, the auction house is considering a series of names linked to the music industry, as well as models and fashion editors.

The auction will take place on April 12.

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