Akeroyd Collection


Charles Atlas

b. 1949, St Louis, Missouri, U.S; lives and works in New York, U.S.

Charles Atlas is recognized as a pioneer of media dance, and performance for camera techniques of artist production. While Atlas’ primary artistic medium is video, where he has developed the discipline of dancing for camera, he has also experimented with live electronic performance. Atlas worked collaboratively with Merce Cunningham from 1975 to 1981 and he was Cunningham’s in-house videographer from the early 1970s until 1983. They continued a close working relationship until Cunningham’s death in 2009. Atlas has also collaborated with Michael Clark, Leigh Bowery, Douglas Dunn, Marina Abramovic, Yvonne Rainer, Mika Tajima/New Humans, Anohni and the Johnsons among others. The collaboration between Charles Atlas and Michael Clark began in 1984 when the young dancer, Clark, performed in two single-channel films by Atlas: Parafango and Ex-Romance. However, it was not until the ground-breaking Hail the New Puritan in 1986, that the relationship between the two artists was deeply cemented. This relationship continues to this day and is currently realized through the lighting design that Atlas produces for all of Clark’s live performances - an endeavour he has undertaken since the 1980s.

Charles Atlas's recent solo exhibitions include Charles Atlas: Selected Videos 1987-2015, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk (2023/2024); Charles Atlas: A Prune Twin, Luhring Augustine, New York (2023); The Mathematics of Consciousness, Brooklyn, New York (2022); Charles Atlas: Ominous, Glamorous, Momentous, Ridiculous, Fondazione ICA Milano (2021); and Charles Atlas: The past is here, the futures are coming and The Kitchen Follies, The Kitchen, New York (2018). In 2017, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles acquired Atlas’ five-channel video installation with sound entitled The Tyranny of Consciousness, which won a prize in Viva Arte Viva, the 57th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennial. In September 2019, Atlas unveiled The Geometry of Thought, a new commission for Art on theMART that spanned across the 2.5 acre river façade of theMART in Chicago.

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