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Merce Cunningham (American, 1919-2009) Suite by Chance , Movement Chart Slow Phrases from III A-B-C-D-E and V C

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American & European Works of Art - 2673B
Date / Time :
September 20, 2013 10:00AM


Merce Cunningham (American, 1919-2009)

Suite by Chance, Movement Chart Slow Phrases from III A-B-C-D-E and V C, 1952
Unsigned, identified on a label from Margarete Roeder Gallery, New York, on the
frame backing and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Merce Cunningham.
Ballpoint pen on paper, 7 3/8 x 6 7/8 in. (18.7 x 17.4 cm), framed.
Condition: Not examined out of frame.

N.B. Suite by Chance is a dance in four movements, with music by Christian Wolff (for magnetic tape) and costumes by Remy Charlip. It was first performed in a private studio in the winter of 1951. Its public premiere was at the Festival of Contemporary Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana in March 1953. In a description from the Margarete Roeder Gallery that accompanies the lot, the text explains that all elements of the dance were arrived at by chance manipulation of selected materials. Cunningham employed this method to encourage the maximum play of possibilities, beyond the ordinary range of the choreographer's imagination and memory. The drawing at hand is a chart indicating the entrances and exits from the third movement.
Estimate $1,000-1,500

Sheet size is 7 1/4 x 6 3/4 in. Tape/glue residue to l.l. corner, small abrasion at u.l. edge, measuring 1/4 x 1/8 inch, probably from an old mounting. Gentle toning, slightly more pronounced at the bottom edge. Hinged in two places at the top of the reverse. Inscribed "A B C D E and VC" in pencil on the back of the mat.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Cunningham, Margarete Roeder Gallery, Chart Slow Phrases, Christian Wolff, Remy Charlip, University of Illinois, choreographer