Artist Daniel Arsham Will Design Décor for Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Final Performances

Artist Daniel Arsham. (Patrick McMullan Company)

Artist Daniel Arsham has been commissioned by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC) to design sets for its final performances, which will take place at New York’s Park Avenue Armory from December 29 through 31. Following those shows, the group will disband, in accordance with the late choreographer’s wishes.

Mr. Arsham is creating the installations by enlarging digital photographs of clouds, some which he took while traveling on airplanes with the company in conjunction with previous projects. The artist began working with the company in 2007, when he created installations for its eyeSpace piece.

Designing sets for the MCDC, Mr. Arsham follows in the footsteps of artists like Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and William Anastasi, who have all previously worked with the group. The artist shows with Galerie Perrotin in Paris.

“This new collaboration with Daniel continues the company’s long
tradition of bringing together unique creative voices,” MCDC executive director Trevor Carlson said in a statement. (Mr. Carlson may be familiar to some readers from his appearance in Tacita Dean’s 2008 film portrait of Mr. Cunningham.)

Mr. Arsham’s work often takes the form of architectural installations or sculptures that are transmogrifying into strange new forms. “In Daniel Arsham’s world, nothing is what it seems,” Pilar Viladas wrote in the The New York Times, in 2010. “A smooth wall suddenly looks as if it is being stretched like fabric. A solid white cube gives the impression that it’s been eaten away. An Arcadian landscape populated only by a kangaroo is invaded by a rectangular slab that hovers in midair.”

Mr. Cunningham, who died in 2009, stipulated that tickets for his company’s final performances cost only $10. They go on sale Aug. 15. Artist Daniel Arsham Will Design Décor for Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Final Performances