“ONE OF THE GRAND ANTIHEROES OF CONTEMPORARY ART”: FIRST EDITION OF ASSEMBLAGE, ENVIRONMENTS & HAPPENINGS, SIGNED BY ALLAN KAPROW
KAPROW, Allan. Assemblage, Environments & Happenings. New York: Harry N. Abrams, (1966). Large square quarto, original stamped brown burlap, original acetate dust jacket. $1700.
First edition, signed by Kaprow on verso of the first leaf, opposite a photograph of him at a 1960 “Happening,” an impressive and massive photobook with numerous photogravures featuring artists such as Claes Oldenburg, George Segal, Jim Dine and Robert Rauschenberg, together with images of works by the Japanese Gutai Group.
Allan Kaprow, “an artist who coined the term ‘happenings’ in the late 1950s and whose anti-art works contributed to radical changes in the course of late 20th-century art,” was a leading member-with artists George Segal, Jim Dine and Claes Oldenberg-of a group whose performance works were signally influenced by John Cage’s “reliance on chance as an organizing, or disorganizing element in art. Like Cage, Kaprow used a combination of choice and accident as a way of creating nonverbal, quasi-theatrical situations in which performers functioned as kinetic objects, the role of the single artist-genius was de-emphasized, audience members became creative participants and no-clear distinction was made between everyday actions and ritual… One of the grand antiheroes of contemporary art… Kaprow’s influence does, in fact, live on” (New York Times). Scarce first edition with original acetate, featuring numerous images of art works by Kaprow, Segal, Dine and Oldenburg, with photographs taken by Oldenburg, Robert McElroy, Peter Moore and others. Text and design by Allan Kaprow. Title page appears at book’s center. Open Book, 222. Bookplate.
Text fine, trace of label removal to front pastedown; lightest edge-wear to original acetate. An about-fine copy, scarce signed.