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Culmination of Sarah Michelson's 'Devotion' series at the Whitney, New York

— January 2014

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

Choreographer and Bucksbaum Award Winner Sarah Michelson debuts her latest work at the Whitney

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 Devotion series. The new work, 4, will be presented in an eight-performance engagement from 24 January  through 2 February 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 rigour, 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, theatre 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 24–26, 29–31 January and 1–2 February. All performances are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 via Tickets may also be purchased at the Museum during gallery hours (Wednesday–Sunday. Owing 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. Previous 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, on the basis of 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, some time within the succeeding two years.

The jury for the 2012 Bucksbaum Award that selected Sarah Michelson to receive the award comprised 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 7 March  through 25 May  with portions of the show continuing into June. The next Bucksbaum laureate will be named from among the 103 participants in the 2014 Biennial. Visit for more information.

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