Kaprow, Allan 1927-2006

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Kaprow, Allan 1927-2006


See index for CA sketch: Born August 23, 1927, in Atlantic City, NJ; died April 5, 2006, in Encinitas, CA. Artist and author. A founder of the visual arts department at the University of California at San Diego, Kaprow was a cutting-edge multimedia artist who created visual "happenings" into which audiences could enter and often participate in. With a B.A. from New York University, which he earned in 1974, and a master's degree from Columbia, completed in 1952, Kaprow pursued an academic career while creating his artworks. He taught at Rutgers University during the 1950s, and after a year at the Pratt Institute, he was a professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. From 1969 to 1973, he was associate dean at the California Institute of Arts, then served as a faculty member there for a year. Finally, he joined the faculty at U.C. San Diegoin 1974, where he would remain until his retirement as professor emeritus. As an artist, Kaprow's breakthrough style involved eclectic blends of objects, sounds, various media, and sometimes performance artists in installations that he placed in everything from art galleries to lofts to store fronts. The works, which he named "happenings," invited audiences to enter them, exploring their surroundings and interpreting their meaning for themselves. By the 1960s, the artist began scaling down his creations somewhat to make what he called "work pieces" that often invited audience participation. In one artwork, for example, people were asked to help build a house made of ice; thus, audiences actually could help create the art themselves. Kaprow would also explain his artistic vision in several publications, including Assemblage, Environments, and Happenings (1966) and Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life (1993).



Los Angeles Times, April 8, 2006, p. B14.