Al Hansen Portfolio / Mappe: The Secret Garden 1993
1927 New York City - 1995 Cologne
Al Hansen Portfolio / Mappe: Italia, 1990
diverse Materialien, 37,5 x 27,5 x 1 cm
*1927 Richmond Hill (US); † 1995 Köln (DE)
In the late 1950s Alfred Earl ''Al'' Hansen attended John Cage's class in experimental composition at the New School for Social Research in New York together with other future Fluxus artists such as Dick Higgins and George Brecht and the pioneer of happenings Allan Kaprow . As a class assignment Hansen wrote Alice Denham in 48 Seconds, a much-acclaimed composition for unconventional percussion soundmakers. In order to present their pieces outside the Cage class, Hansen and Higgins, among others, founded the New York Audio-Visual Group and performed in alternative venues in Greenwich Village. With his unrehearsed free-form happenings, Hansen, alongside artists such as Kaprow and Claes Oldenburg, was a key practitioner of this new art form in early 1960s New York. He also arranged happenings programmes in various venues, including his nomadic Third Rail Gallery of Current Art, which was based, throughout most of the 1960s, in any of the spaces in which he was living or producing art at a given time. Hansen’s book A Primer of Happenings & Time / Space Art was published in 1965. Hansen was also part of the Fluxus network, collaborating and performing together with a number of fellow Fluxus artists. However, he took part in relatively few “official“ Fluxus events, one reason being the personal animosities between him and George Maciunas. Around 1960 Hansen made his first collages. Starting with often humorous word-collages, Hansen increasingly deployed his signature materials – Hershey chocolate bar wrappers in the 1960s, cigarette butts and matches since the 1970s – to produce female forms reminiscent of prehistoric Venus figures. Since 1982 until his sudden death in 1995 Hansen was based in Cologne.
Excerpt from the catalogue: Stegmann, Petra (Ed.): "The lunatics are on the loose...." EUROPEAN FLUXUS FESTIVALS 1962-1977. Potsdam: Down With Art!, 2012.
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