"An assemblage of events performed or perceived in more than one time and place. Its material environments may be constructed, taken over directly from what is available, or altered slightly, just as its activities may be invented or commonplace. A Happening, unlike a stage play, may occur at a supermarket, driving along a highway, under a pile of rags, and in a friend's kitchen, either at once or sequentially. If sequential, time may extend to more than a year. The Happening is performed according to a plan without rehearsal, audience, or repetition."

1927- American Artist, pioneer of Happenings, also associated with the Fluxus group, performance artist

Probably most known for wanting to erase the boundary between Life and Art. He wrote widely on this topic. As a college professor, learned to articulate his ideas well and got others to understand and accept them.

In school, he studied under Meyer Schapiro.

In 1956, he created assemblages partly composed of found objects.

In 1958 he proposed artists abandon craftsmanship and permanence for 'perishable media'. In part as a reaction to Art becoming a commodity to be bought and sold. This line of reasoning contributed to Conceptual Art and Performance Art. A friend of John Cage, he taught at the New School for Social Research.

In 1966, he had two books published by Something Else Press:

"Assemblage, Environments & Happenings" and "Some Recent Happenings"

He also wrote a book of book of essays entitled, "The Blurring of Art and Life."

Some of his work:
  • "POSE: Carrying Chairs Though The City: Sitting Down Here And There: Photographed: Pix Left on Spot: Going On" a recording of a happening - 1969
  • "Assemblage, Environments & Happenings" - 1966
  • "Some Recent Happenings" - 1966
  • "Satisfaction" - 1976
  • "Echo-Logy" - 1976

Artists who worked with Alan:

His work appears in the permanent collection of:


Selected Sources:

Kaprow, Allan, "Essays on The Blurring of Art and Life", University of California Press, Berkeley, 1993 Tompkins, Calvin, "Off The Wall, Robert Rauschenberg and the Art World of Our Time", Penguin, New York, 1980 Last Updated 04.23.04

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