Allan Kaprow (August 23, 1927 – April 5, 2006) was an American painter, assemblagist and a pioneer in establishing the concepts of performance art. He helped to develop the "Environment" and "Happening" in the late 1950s and 1960s, as well as their theory. His Happenings — some 200 of them — evolved over the years. Eventually Kaprow shifted his practice into what he called "Activities", intimately scaled pieces for one or several players, devoted to the study of normal human activity in a way congruent to ordinary life. Fluxus, performance art, and installation art were, in turn, influenced by his work.
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Kaprow began his career as an Abstract Expressionist, creating "action collages" which used materials such as newspaper and straw. However, after studying musical composition under John Cage at the New School for Social Research, he focused his attention on "Happenings", and what he termed "Environments", which were sculptural installations (ie: "Yard" of 1961, which was a space filled with car tires that a viewer could walk over). In 1968, Kaprow began using the term "Activity" instead of Happening, and his work became more concerned with physical activities that could be performed by all, such as his work "The Perfect Bed", where participants took their favorite bed and moved it outdoors.
Artist, Installation Artist, Painter, Performance Artist, Sculptor, Video Artist
Allan Kaprow, Alan Kaprow
Information from Getty’s Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License