Allan Kaprow: 18 Happenings in 6 Parts. November 9/10/11 2006
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Published on the occasion of the eponymous 2019–20 exhibition at Hauser & Wirth New York, ‘Mike Kelley: Timeless Painting’ explores the influential artist’s unique approach to painting as a conceptual medium. Edited and with an introduction by exhibition curator Jenelle Porter, the publication reproduces twelve series of paintings from 1994 through 2009 alongside responses to Kelley’s work by a diverse group of artists that Porter has invited to contribute: Edgar Arceneaux with Kurt Forman, Carroll Dunham, Daniel Guzmán, Richard Hawkins, Jay Heikes, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Christina Quarles, Mary Reid Kelley, and Laurie Simmons. In writing that ranges from personal anecdote to art historical analysis, cento poem to epistolary ode, these artists consider the enduring relevance of Kelley’s practice both as a painter and as an artist more broadly.
With the invention of ‘Happenings’ and ‘Environments’, Allan Kaprow embarked upon a career of intellectually rigorous, site-specific, and timed works that defied commoditization and ultimately gave birth to performance and installation art. His seminal work, ‘18 Happenings in 6 parts’, 1959, an evening of seemingly random but carefully choreographed activities, required the participation of both the audience and the performers to complete the piece. ‘Life is much more interesting than art,’ Kaprow wrote. ‘The line between art and life should be kept as fluid, and perhaps indistinct, as possible.’