Allan Kaprow— Art as Life

Eva Meyer-Hermann, Editor, Andrew Perchuk, Editor, Stephanie Rosenthal, Editor
Eva Meyer-Hermann, Editor, Andrew Perchuk, Editor, Stephanie Rosenthal, Editor . Getty $55 (358p) ISBN 978-0-89236-890-7
Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 03/01/2008
Hardcover - 408 pages - 978-0-500-23848-6
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In 1958, Allan Kaprow (1927–2006) created the first Happening, a one-time, scripted event that could take place in either a gallery or a public space. Although the term “happening” entered the vernacular, the essayists in this catalogue that accompanies a retrospective at L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art refer several times to their subject as the “best-known unknown artist” of his generation. Before Happenings put him center stage in the art world, Kaprow worked his way through a period of action painting into assemblage and room-sized environments, an artistic path that speaks to his attempts to use the lessons of John Cage to get past the legacy of Jackson Pollock. One essayist describes the Happenings as outgrowths of the assemblages. The thread that runs throughout Kaprow’s work is a search for those moments when art and life are indistinguishable. This desire led to increasingly private performances for only one or two people. Archival material in the Getty Research Institute collection and recent images bring the career and the current exhibition to life. 231 color and 291 b&w illus. (Apr. 21)

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