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Bucksbaum Award Winner Sarah Michelson to Debut Her Latest Work at the Whitney

Bucksbaum Award Winner Sarah Michelson to Debut Her Latest Work at the Whitney


Whitney Museum of American Art


The Whitney Museum, 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, New York City


Friday, January 24, 2014 - 2:00pm
Saturday, January 25, 2014 - 2:00pm
Sunday, January 26, 2014 - 2:00pm
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 2:00pm
Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 2:00pm
Friday, January 31, 2014 - 2:00pm
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 2:00pm
Saturday, February 1, 2014 - 2:00pm
Sunday, February 2, 2014 - 2:00pm



Whitney Museum of American Art

Choreographer and Bucksbaum Award Winner Sarah  Michelson to Debut Her Latest Work at the Whitney

New  York, NY, December 5, 2013 – Choreographer and  Bucksbaum Award  winner Sarah Michelson reclaims the Whitney’s fourth-floor Emily Fisher Landau Galleries this winter to premiere the  culmination of her  acclaimed Devotion series. The new work, 4, will be presented in an eight-performance engagement from January 24 through February 2, 2014. 4 was co-commissioned by the Whitney and  the Walker  Art Center.

Jay  Sanders, the  Whitney’s curator of performance, noted: “Sarah’s work combines the  rigor, physicality, and  conceptual thinking  that define and  develop new  possibilities in contemporary choreography.” Writing in The New York  Times about an earlier segment of Michelson’s Devotion series, Claudia La Rocco commented that “Ms. Michelson is known for her uncanny ability to take over  a space.”

Sarah Michelson (b. 1964) is a New York-based, British-born choreographer. Her 2012 Whitney Biennial piece, Devotion Study #1 — The American Dancer,  commissioned by the  Museum, employed a text written for the occasion at Michelson’s request by another Biennial artist, theater director/playwright Richard Maxwell, founder of New York City Players. Her new work will reunite her with Maxwell once again.

4 will be presented at the Whitney on January 24–26, 29–31, and Feb 1 and 2. All performances are at 2pm. Tickets are $25 and go on sale to the public on Monday, December 16 at noon via whitney.org. Tickets may  also  be purchased at the Museum during gallery hours (Wednesday–Sunday), starting December 18. Due to limited capacity, patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance.


About  the Bucksbaum Award

Melva Bucksbaum, a Whitney trustee since 1996, launched The Bucksbaum Award  in 2000. Prior to Michelson, the recipients of the  award have included conceptual artist Michael Asher, whose Biennial project in 2010 involved  keeping the Museum open around the clock for three consecutive days, Paul Pfeiffer (2000), Irit Batsry (2002), Raymond Pettibon (2004), Mark Bradford (2006), and  Omer Fast (2008).

The  Bucksbaum Award,  created and  produced by Tiffany & Co., is given every two years in recognition of an artist, chosen from those included in the Biennial, whose work demonstrates a singular combination of talent and  imagination. The selected artist is considered by the jurors to have the potential to make a lasting impact on the  history of American art, based on the  excellence of past work as well as present work in the  Biennial. In addition to receiving a $100,000 grant, each Bucksbaum laureate is invited to present an exhibition at the Whitney, sometime within the  succeeding two years.

The  jury for the  2012  Bucksbaum Award  that selected Sarah Michelson to receive the award was comprised of Adam  D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt  Brown  Director; Donna De Salvo,  Whitney Chief  Curator and  Deputy Director for Programs; the  Biennial curators Elisabeth Sussman and Jay Sanders; and three guest panelists, Lia Gangitano, Branden Joseph, and  Christophe Cherix.

Funding for the  Bucksbaum Award  is provided by an endowment from the  Martin Bucksbaum Family Foundation.

The  2014  Whitney Biennial, goes on view at the  Whitney from March 7 through May 25, 2014, with portions of the show continuing into June. The next Bucksbaum laureate will be named from among the  103 participants in the  2014  Biennial.


Exhibition Support

4 is co-commissioned by the Walker  Art Center, with support provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

4 was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the  Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

This program is supported, in part,  by public  funds from the  New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the  City Council.

Generous support for 4 at the  Whitney Museum of American Art is provided by an anonymous donor. Funding for the  Whitney’s Performance Program is provided by the  Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, and  the Performance Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art.


About the Whitney

The  Whitney Museum of American Art is the  world’s leading museum of twentieth-century and contemporary art of the United  States. Focusing particularly on works by living artists, the  Whitney is celebrated for presenting important exhibitions and  for its renowned collection, which comprises over 19,000 works by more than 2,900 artists. With a history of exhibiting the  most promising and influential artists and  provoking intense debate, the Whitney Biennial, the  Museum's signature exhibition, has become the most important survey of the  state of contemporary art in the United States. In addition to its landmark exhibitions, the Museum is known internationally for events and educational programs of exceptional significance and as a center for research, scholarship, and conservation.

Founded by sculptor and  arts patron Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1930, the  Whitney was  first housed on West 8th Street in Greenwich Village. The Museum relocated in 1954 to West 54th Street and, in 1966, inaugurated its present home, designed by Marcel Breuer, at 945 Madison Avenue on the  Upper East Side.  While its vibrant program of exhibitions and events continues uptown, the  Whitney is moving forward with a new  building project, designed by Renzo Piano,  in downtown Manhattan. Located at the corner of Gansevoort and  Washington Streets in the  Meatpacking District, at the southern entrance to the  High Line, the  new  building, which has generated immense momentum and  support, will enable the Whitney to vastly  increase the  size  and  scope of its exhibition and  programming space. Ground was broken on the  new  building  in May 2011, and it is projected to open to the  public in 2015.


Current and Upcoming Exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art:


Robert Indiana: Beyond Love                                                                    Through January 5, 2014

Rituals  of Rented Island:

Object Theater, Loft Performance,

and  the  New Psychodrama—Manhattan, 1970–1982                     Through February 2, 2014

T.J. Wilcox: In the Air                                                                                   Through February 9, 2014

Edward Steichen in the  1920s and  1930s:

A Recent Acquisition                                                                               Dec 6, 2013-Feb 2014

In Parts                                                                                             Through March 2, 2014

2014 Whitney Biennial                                                                                 March 7-May 25, 2014

Jeff Koons:  A Retrospective                                                         June 27-October 19, 2014


The Whitney Museum is located at 945 Madison Avenue at 75th  Street, New York City. Museum hours are:  Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and  Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday  from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., closed Monday and  Tuesday. General admission: $20. Full-time students and visitors ages 19–25 and 62 & over: $16. Visitors 18 & under and  Whitney members: FREE. Admission is pay-what-you-wish on

Fridays, 6–9  p.m. For general information, please call (212) 570-3600 or visit http://www.whitney.org.

Image credit: Sarah Michelson (b. 1964), Devotion Study #1—The American Dancer,  February 2012, during the  2012  Whitney Biennial. Photograph © Paula Court

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