Merce Cunningham

1919 (Centralia, Wash.) – 2009 (New York)

Cunningham was one of the most influential twentieth-century choreographers: Baryshnikov said he reinvented dance. Graham took him on as a soloist, Ashton admired the poetry of his work, Beck and Malina shared a building, while Lichtenstein competed for taxis. Copland was a supporter, Guston a good friend. Albers, the de Koonings, Fuller and Olson were all Black Mountain acquaintances. Cage was his great collaborator, life partner, and a key influence. Other long-term collaborators and friends included Rauschenberg and Johns; he also worked with a panoply of talent from Dodds to Vanderbeek, Bryars to Warhol, Brown to Young.

Merce Cunningham knew…