Sarah Cooper is a curator, writer, and art historian based in Los Angeles.

She is the Public Programs Specialist for performance at the J. Paul Getty Museum, where she directs the experimental performance series Ever Present, among other programs. 

She has organized programs featuring artists and musicians including Kim Gordon, Simone Forti, Brendan Fernandes, Patti Smith, Lonnie Holley, Martin Creed, Midori Takada, Helado Negro, Moor Mother, David Wojnarowicz, Derek Jarman, and Solange Knowles.

In addition, Sarah has held positions at The Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Royal Academy in London, and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

She holds a Master's Degree in Art History from Hunter College, New York. Her thesis, Expanding Experimentalism: Popular Music and Art at the Kitchen in New York City, 1971-1985, explores the creative output of artists' bands and the relationship between popular music and avant-garde performance practices.

sarahannecooper [at]


Sarah Cooper

Marjani Forté-Saunders
Milka Djordjevic, Victoria Fu/Matt Rich Image Frolics at Zebulon
Image Frolics article (The Kitchen)
Standing on the Corner Art Ensemble
Hand Habits
Bartees Strange
Ever Present: Dissonant Days
Poussin and the Dance
Meaningless Work, Get to Work
Phoebe Berglund Dance Troupe
Moor Mother
Refuge: Devendra Banhart & Noah Georgeson
Brendan Fernandes: Free Fall for the Camera
Soup & Tart: Broadcast
Ben Kinmont for Active Cultures Digest
Steve Reich’s Drumming
Bridge-s by Solange Knowles
Martin Creed
Ex Hex
Mother Earth's Plantasia
San Cha
Colin Self
Ben Babbitt
Mandy Kahn
Lala Lala
Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs A.S.T.R.A.L.O.R.A.C.L.E.S + Ana Roxanne
Jennifer Moon & laub
Cate Le Bon
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith with Cool Maritime + Emily Sprague
Lonnie Holley
Eyes of Laura Mars & Fashion Films
Combo Chimbita
Friday Flights 2014-2018
No Sesso + Kelsey Lu
Gun Outfit
Tyler Matthew Oyer
Ian Svenonius’ Escape-Ism
Lola Kirke
Dynasty Handbag
Geneva Jacuzzi
Corey Fogel
Elliot Reed
No) One. Art House
Sarah Davachi
Devon Welsh (Majical Cloudz)
Tom Krell | Tram Music
Artists' Books Fest
Peaking Lights Family Band
Allah Las
Midori Takada
Maria Chavez
Helado Negro
See What You Mean: Harry Gamboa Jr.
Savoy Motel
Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle
Scott Benzel
Psychic Ills
Steve Gunn
Institute for New Feeling
Molly Surno with Brian Chase
Sun Araw
Reggie Watts
La Luz
Brendan Fernandes
White Fence
Sam Rowell
William Tyler + Noveller
Dungen: The Adventures of Prince Achmed
John Berger's Ways of Seeing: A Live Reading
KCHUNG News Residency
Simone Forti, News Animations
Leonard Cohen, A Celebration
Derek Jarman's Blue
Charles Atlas' The Legend of Leigh Bowery & Teach
Free Cinema
Demdike Stare
Veggie Cloud Film Series
David Horvitz Posters
David Horvitz & Xiu Xiu
Jennifer Juniper Stratford
Laurel Jenkins' B A S E
Jim Drain
M. Geddes Gengras
Burger Records
Kevin Morby
Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs + mecca vazie andrews
Chris Cohen
Moses Sumney
Kianí del Valle
Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler score Le Revelateur & Odilon Redon
Getty Salad Garden
Ed Ruscha's Premium
Harry Gesner in the Getty Salad Garden
Lee Ranaldo
Jessica Pratt
5 Every Day
Lucky Dragons
Yoko Ono Morning Peace
Barbara Kruger 'Tag Wall'
Shannon & the Clams
Total Freedom
Julianna Barwick & Matthew Brandt
Body/Head (Getty)
Daisies & Jennifer West
Mikael Jorgensen & Cassandra C. Jones
No Age
Ooga Booga
William Tyler & Harry Smith
Body/Head (MoMA)
Sofia Coppola & Phoenix
Abstract Currents
David Lamelas & Carlos D'Alessio
The Clock—Silent Disco
Exquisite Corpse & Au Revoir Simone
The Raincoats
Forth Estate & Real Estate
Paper Rad & Cory Arcangel



Poussin and the Dance 
Contemporary Dance Film Commissions
J. Paul Getty Museum, Special Exhibitions Pavillion
February 15–May 8, 2022

Photo by Ciarra K. Walters

In conjunction with the exhibition Poussin and the Dance, on view February 15–May 8, 2022, Getty commissioned Los Angeles-based dance companies to create works in dialogue with the French artist’s paintings. Poussin’s scenes feature intricate compositions of bodies in motion, at times in celebration or despair. Each commissioned work responds to elements of Poussin’s powerful depictions.

hbny (pronounced eh-boh-nee) by Chris Emile 

Photo by Ciarra K. Walters

hbny (pronounced eh-boh-nee) is a dance film by Chris Emile. Here a new narrative is imagined for the mythic tribe of the Sabines, of whom little is known outside of their victimization by Roman conquerors, famously depicted in Poussin’s masterwork The Abduction of the Sabine Women. Filmed in the urban wasteland of L.A.’s Devil’s Gate, Emile’s Sabines inhabit a landscape that appears ancient and contemporary at once, in which they interact with fierceness, tenderness, shared sorrow, and unbridled joy, exuding a sense of freedom and agency over their own bodies and minds.

Run time: 17:29
Credits: Directed, Produced, Choreographed, Written, and Edited by Chris Emile

PORTRAIT by Micaela Taylor 

PORTRAIT is a dance film by Micaela Taylor, founding artistic director of The TL Collective, commissioned by the Getty Museum. Emphasizing her signature glitch-like movements and extreme facial expressions, Taylor deconstructs Poussin’s elaborate scenes to isolate and investigate the internal struggle depicted on individual faces. Staged within the mathematical grids and textured stones of the Getty Center’s architecture, the dancers blur lines and forms taken from classical dance into their otherwise freeform movements and unsettling smiles appear on their faces aimed right at the camera. This slipstream between the classical and the unconventional, the joyful and the disturbing, echo the disarming way Poussin creates ravishing beauty out of moments of chaos and violence.

Run time: 15:08
Credits: Choreographed and Edited by Micaela Taylor. Directed by Silvia Grav.

CAÑA by Ana María Alvarez

Photo by Fara Sosa

CAÑA is a dance film by Ana María Alvarez, founding artistic director of CONTRA-TIEMPO Activist Dance Theater. In Poussin, Alvarez saw an investigation of movement within a natural landscape, of rich textures and textiles in motion, and of the mystery of ritual. Included in the exhibition is Poussin’s epic painting Dance in Honor of Priapus, which provides a window into a private ritual being performed by a group of women dancing in a ring. Alvarez’s film also draws us into a private world of a group of women, dancing together unselfconsciously among natural landscapes and dressed in lusciously colored textiles. Throughout the film, sugar cane is ripped, bitten, and swung about as a meditation on this indulgent substance—echoing themes of vice and virtue, and the pitfalls of bacchanalia that were investigated by Poussin.

Run time: 13:37
Credits: Direction and Choreographic Vision: Ana María Alvarez


Poussin and the Dance video exhibition website

Getty Art + Ideas Podcast, “Poussin and the Dance Shines New Light on French Painter,” hosted by James Cuno, with curators Emily Beeny and Sarah Cooper.

Virtual Exhibition Tour with curators Emily Beeny and Sarah Cooper