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Allan Kaprow

Last Name: 
Kaprow
First Name: 
Allan

Allan Kaprow (1927-2006) studied at New York University (art at the undergraduate level, philosophy at the graduate) and received his MA from Columbia in art history. He also studied at the Hans Hoffman School of Fine Arts in New York City and later with John Cage. His teaching career has included faculty positions at Rutgers, Pratt Institute, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the California Institute of the Arts (Associate Dean). He was also the co-director of Project Other Ways in Berkeley -- a study geared toward introducing studio artists into the public school system from elementary through secondary levels. Kaprow began his studio career as a painter; during the 1950's he co-founded the Hansa and Reuben Galleries in New York and later was the director of the Judson Gallery. 1956—1958 he was studying musical composition with the avant-garde composer John Cage at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan. In 1957—58 Kaprow began to create environmental works that demanded audience participation (influenced by Cage), and this integration of space, materials, time and people eventually led to the more experimental pieces and the development of his happenings, a term he coined in 1959. Kaprow taught in the Visual Art Department of the University of California at San Diego. He is recognized as virtually having invented happenings' and performed/exhibited in galleries and museums both in the States and in Europe with his most publicized events including 18 Happenings in Six Parts, Calling, Gas, Fluids, and BTU's. A selection of articles written by Kaprow include "The Legacy of Jackson Pollock," Art News, October, 1958; "Happenings' in the New York Scene," Art News, May, 1961; "Impurity," Art News, January, 1963; Assemblage, Environments and Happenings, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1966; Days Off, Museum of Modern Art, 1969, (a calendar of ten happenings); "The Education of the Un-Artist, Part I," Art News, February, 1971; "The Education of the Un-Artist, Part II," Art News, May, 1972; "The Education of the Un-Artist, Part III," Art in America, January, 1974; "The Real Experiment," Artforum, December, 1983. Reviews of Kaprow's work include Happenings, E.P. Dutton, New York, 1965 (Michael Kirby); "Happenings," Tulane Drama Review, New Orleans, Winter 1965 (Richard Schechner); and The Art of Time, 1969 (Michael Kirby).