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Allan Kaprow «18 Happenings in 6 Parts» | The artist during the performance
Allan Kaprow, «18 Happenings in 6 Parts», 1959
The artist during the performance | ©

 Allan Kaprow

* 1927 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Within a brief and intense early career, Kaprow progressed from an interest in Abstract Expressionism (Jackson Pollock) and many-levelled paintings incorporating collage to assemblage. He enrolled in Hans Hofmann's painting school (1947-48). Through Hofmann he began to develop an expressive, high spirited style of action painting, based on real landscapes and figures, which was to lead, by a number of well-defined and documented steps, to the happenings of a decade later. 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 now teaches in the Visual Art Department of the University of California at San Diego.