Karon Davis Curtain Call

Karon Davis | Curtain Call
The High Line, New York

Bowing on the Lawn at 23rd Street, Curtain Call is forever frozen in reverence to her audience, transforming the architecture of the High Line itself into a stage

Installation Views

Karon Davis (b. 1977, Reno, NV) brings to life historical and allegorical figures in her signature white wrapped plaster sculptures. Immersed in her parents’ and sister’s world of theater and ballet as a child, Davis’ installations merge memory and scenes from the stage with historical events, mythology, and ongoing challenges ranging from climate crisis to gun violence.

Developed alongside The High Line in Chelsea, New York, Curtain Call is a monumental bronze portrait nearly 6 1/2 feet tall of a ballerina taking her final bow after a performance. The work is part of Davis’ series, Beauty Must Suffer, which examines the life and labor of Black dancers in their pursuit of a perfect form within the historically European tradition of ballet. The series debuted at Salon 94 in Fall 2023, and featured a life-size plaster version of the same name.

Explore Beauty Must Suffer.

Using a combination of 3D scanning technology and traditional sculpting techniques, the bronze figure was derived from Davis’ plaster cast of ballerina Jasmine Perry. Kneeling forward, she clutches a bouquet of roses, a traditional gift of appreciation given by admiring fans of the ballet.

Curtain Call is on view on The High Line from December 2023 – November 2024.

For more information, please email Nicolas Ochart.


Object Lessons: Karon Davis