Charles Atlas: Kiss the Day Goodbye at i8 Gallery
Thu 12 Dec 2019 to Sat 1 Feb 2020
The show is open during the darkest days of winter, and consists of the single video work, Kiss the Day Goodbye; a grid of 24 sunsets shot by Atlas in Florida, at the Rauschenberg Residency, from his balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. In Atlas’s blazing setting suns, the traditional sentimentality of the sunset motif is infused with the urgency and intensity of the environmental, political, and cultural decline of the present moment. Embracing a pre-apocalyptic mood, invoked in part by its mournful soundtrack, Kiss the Day Goodbye points towards finality, the end of a phase of our history. And yet, the work remains elemental and beautiful.
For over four decades, Atlas has stretched the limits of his medium, forging new territory in a far-reaching range of genres, stylistic approaches, and techniques. Throughout his production, Atlas has consistently been deeply involved in fostering collaborative relationships, working intimately with such significant artists and performers as Leigh Bowery, Michael Clark, Douglas Dunn, Marina Abramovic, Yvonne Rainer, Mika Tajima/New Humans, Antony and the Johnsons, and most notably Merce Cunningham, with whom he worked closely from the early 1970s until the choreographer’s death, in 2009.
Charles Atlas was born in St. Louis, MO, in 1949; he has lived and worked in New York City since the early 1970s. His work has been exhibited and is in the permanent collections of such institutions as Tate Modern, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston; Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the New Museum, New York, among many others.
In January 2015, Prestel released Charles Atlas, the first major publication on Atlas’s work, featuring writings by Stuart Comer, Douglas Crimp, Douglas Dunn, Johanna Fateman, and Lia Gangitano.
Charles Atlas, Kiss the Day Goodbye, 2015 (installation view). Two-channel video installation with sound © Charles Atlas; Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik.