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Allan Kaprow

Allan Kaprow

*  1927 Atlantic City/New Jersey
† 2006 Encinitas/California

Allan Kaprow is considered the originator of happenings. From an early point on he saw the dripping method of Jackson Pollock's Action Paintings, in which he splashed the paint over a canvas on the ground, as the reason why art had to go beyond the canvas and conquer its surrounding space. Next to Pollock's works, the serial compositions of John Cage were a significant source of inspiration. Kaprow anticipated that space and the objects and bodies within it would play a big role in art in the future. In 1959 his work "18 Happenings in 6 Parts" laid the basis for this new form of art in which not only boundaries between participants and observers were crossed, additionally, the happenings took place both in- and outdoors. Kaprow's works also had great impact on the Fluxus- and performance events of, among others, Joseph Beuys.
Even today's art of artists working in an interactive manner show the influence of Kaprow.