Allan Kaprow

1927 · United States

Artist biography

Allan Kaprow was an American artist, founder and iconic figure of Happening. Close to the Fluxus movement, he defines his approach as "an assembly of events played or perceived in several times and places. It is art but seems closer to life. " Born in 1927 in Atlantic City, Kaprow studied painting under the direction of Hans Hofmann for two years, then art history at Columbia with Meyer Schapiro. He followed John Cage's courses at the New School for Social Research in 1957. From there he explored the rejection of all received ideas about art and the blurring of the boundaries between art and non-art. Pushing the limits, Allan Kaprow links his creativity to philosophy and radicalizes his perspective by pushing the artistic conception as far in his performances as in Yard (1961). The audience walked around the junkyard Kaprow created, the happening played on the audience confused as to whether the work was or not a work of art. His essay, Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life is also a theoretical as well as practical enhancement. Recognized for their uniqueness, most Kaprow Happenings take place in places that are not dedicated to art. Allan Kaprow approach believes in the artist’s desire to blur the line between performers and audience, in an attempt to erase the line separating art from life, a philosophy that also influences Pop Art. He died on April 5, 2006 in Encinitas, CA. Today, Allan Kaprow remains an iconic artist whose prolific work and theories shaped installation and performance art.

Allan Kaprow

  • Exhibitions 1

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