When New York nightclub denizens threw so-called “outlaw parties” in the ’80s, it was thrilling, but it was nothing new. They were just continuing the grand tradition of “happenings,” the seemingly spontaneous combine of sculpture, theater, abstract expressionist painting, and structured randomness invented in the 1960s by Allan Kaprow, the artist who died of natural causes last Wednesday in Encinitis, California. He was 79. “Allan took art off the walls and put it in places where anyone could encounter it,” said longtime friend, poet David Antin. Encounter it, and often trip over it, as they were forced to do in the 1961 gallery installation of car tires he called Yard.
(Photos, from top left: Mountain, 1962; Yard, 1961; Calling, 1962; Words, 1967; inset, Kaprow in 1959)