Barbican Announces Landmark Michael Clark Exhibition

by Sophie Walsh on 9 January 2020

Opening June 2020, the exhibition will celebrate the legendary dancer and choreographer's career.

Opening June 2020, the exhibition will celebrate the legendary dancer and choreographer's career.

A Michael Clark exhibition is set to open up at the Barbican on 12 June 2020. Exploring the legendary dancer and choreographer’s career, the exhibition will feature photography and film alongside some of his most iconic collaborative material.

Aberdeen-born Clark emerged as a prodigy at the Royal Ballet School during the 1980s. Celebrated for his experimental techniques, he is heralded for combining elements of Dada, rock and punk into choreography. Whilst working with esteemed companies including The Paris Opera and Ballet Rambert, Clark is also recognised for relocating dance away from the traditional arenas and introducing it to new audiences, for instance performing at unexpected venues such as Glastonbury and Tate Modern. A cultural icon, Clark has also been the subject of much artistic attention, collaborating for instance with Alexander McQueen and Nick Knight for fashion film Blade of Light in 2004. Galvanising McQueen's S/S 04 collection, Michael Clark's dancers move in slow-motion as silhouettes, available to watch on SHOWstudio.

This exhibition also comes at an interesting time in contemporary menswear. During the recent A/W 20 season for instance, we saw the incorporation of dance at the Bianca Saunders presentation in which models, choreographed by Saul Nash, moved to the sound of cktrl. Organised dance was relocated to celebrate the normality and wearability of the clothing, making the typical inaccessibility of fashion shows accessible, in the same way Clark had done with dance.

Clark’s exhibition will showcase fresh work including an immersive film instillation in which Charles Atlas revisits the 1986 fictionalised documentary about Clark, entitled Hail the New Puritan. Other names included in the exhibition are British artist Sarah Lucas, German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans and water-colourist Silke Otto-Knapp. More details about the show will be released nearer the time.

Michael Clark, Barbican, 12 June 2020 - 30 August 2020



Blade of Light

30 July 2004
An explosive creative collaboration between Alexander McQueen, Nick Knight and Michael Clark.

Interview: Michael Clark on Lee McQueen

14 March 2015
Dancer Michael Clark talks to Lou Stoppard about choreographing the S/S 04 'Deliverance' show and his friendship with Lee McQueen.

Video Portrait: Michael Clark

09 December 2009
Choreographer Michael Clark; one of 200 cultural icons captured by Nick Knight for the 30th anniversary issue of i-D magazine.