In many ways, Allan Kaprow, father of the “Happening,” was the most important artist of the ’60s — at least as important as his household-branded comrade Andy Warhol. Warhol critiqued the commodification of art from way, way inside, and insisted to the end on the primacy of the image. But Kaprow, emerging from a hardcore New York School abstract-painting milieu, took an almost diametrically opposite path.
Forging a unified field theory out of his seemingly disparate Hans Hoffman apprenticeship, American Povera assemblages and participation in the formative social nexus of the Fluxus movement — John Cage’s legendary late-’50s class in music composition at the New School for Social Research — Kaprow operated as the postmodern missing link, personifying the historically bowdlerized continuity between Abstract Expressionist painting and the farthest reaches of the subsequent avant-garde, leaving behind not only recognizable imagery but the very notion of a tangible art object.
more from the LA Weekly here.