Charles Atlas has been a pioneering figure in film and video for over four decades. Atlas has extended the limits of his medium, forging new territory in a far-reaching range of genres, stylistic approaches, and techniques. Throughout his production, the artist has consistently fostered collaborative relationships, working intimately with such 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, for whom he served as in-house videographer for a decade from the early 1970s through 1983; their close working relationship continued until Cunningham’s death in 2009.
Atlas was born in St. Louis, MO in 1949; he has lived and worked in New York City since the early 1970s. Recent solo exhibitions include The Mathematics of Consciousness, a 100-foot long video installation commissioned by Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY, and supported by a grant from the VIA Art Fund; Charles Atlas: Ominous, Glamorous, Momentous, Ridiculous, Fondazione ICA Milano, Italy; and Charles Atlas: The past is here, the futures are coming and The Kitchen Follies, The Kitchen, New York. In 2017, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles acquired Atlas’ five-channel video installation with sound entitled The Tyranny of Consciousness, which won a prize in Viva Arte Viva, the 57th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennial. In September 2019, Atlas unveiled The Geometry of Thought, a new commission for Art on theMART that spanned across the 2.5 acre river façade of theMART in Chicago.
Atlas’ work is included in the permanent collections of major institutions worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; San Francisco Museum of Art; Tate Modern, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich; and De Hallen Haarlem, The Netherlands.