Skip to content

dancers on a plane

September 21, 2009

[NYTimes] Sometime in 1981 Jasper Johns gave Merce Cunningham an abstract painting with the artist’s familiar crosshatch pattern. Near the center is a delicate, dotted vertical line, like the spine of a dancer, and stenciled along the bottom are jumbled letters spelling out the title: “Dancers on a Plane, Merce Cunningham.”

“I made it for Merce because he was the thought in my mind,” Mr. Johns said in a telephone interview last week.

“I don’t recall whether or not it was for a special occasion,” added Mr. Johns, who was Cunningham’s friend and an adviser to his dance company from 1967 to 1980. “Someone in Merce’s studio told me I brought it over, propped it against a wall and said, ‘Don’t touch it, it’s still wet.’ But I don’t remember that.”

What Mr. Johns didn’t know at the time was that “Dancers on a Plane” would be a gift that keeps on giving. On Nov. 10 and 11 Christie’s will auction that painting and other presents to Cunningham, the dancer and choreographer who died in July, and his partner in work and life, the composer John Cage, who died in 1992. Proceeds from the sale, expected to total $3.5 million to $5 million, will benefit the Merce Cunningham Trust, which administers the rights to his work and strives to perpetuate his legacy. (read)

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: