Allan Kaprow was a pioneering American installation and performance artist known for his Happenings and his contributions to the Fluxus movement. Happenings, a form of performance art Kaprow created and theorized about, focused on audience engagement as an integral component of the work. “The everyday world is the most astonishing inspiration conceivable,” he said. “A walk down 14th Street is more amazing than any masterpiece of art.” Born on August 23, 1927 in Atlantic City, NJ. Kaprow was influenced by his professor Hans Hoffman, who introduced him to other artists such as Jackson Pollock. Pollock’s highly physical painting process inspired Kaprow’s later theories. His influential book Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life, extrapolates on Happenings and his personal philosophies regarding an art practice. Kaprow’s anti-art stance is demonstrated in his work Yard (1961), in which he created a junkyard full of tires in the back of a Manhattan gallery. The audience then walked around the junkyard, confused as to whether the work was garbage or a work of art—specifically as Kaprow intended. He died on April 5, 2006 in Encinitas, CA. Today, he remains an iconic artist whose work and theories shaped installation and performance art.
Pastel on paper
15 x 25 inches (sheet)
Initialed in pencil lower right
Provenance, Private Collection, Stockton, CA (gift from the artist)