Allan Kaprow

September 23 –  December 19, 2015

NP3 presents the first reinvention of Allan Kaprow’s iconic environment YARD in the Netherlands!
The work and ideas of Allan Kaprow as artistic phenomenon still have great actuality value which should remain visible and experienceable for everyone. Kaprow’s work endures all time, is accessible, process-oriented, inquisitive and full of humor. According to NP3 the work of Kaprow is a very early form of the open source mentality, he was a pioneer in sharing the source code of his ideas as an artist and researcher.

Allan Kaprow (August 23, 1927 – April 5, 2006) was an American artist. He started his artistic career studying composition by John Cage, wrote experimental electronic music and studied painting before he experimented with daily material, environments and the involvement of the viewer. Kaprow is regarded as a pioneer in establishing and developing the concepts of performance art, art as environments and happenings and art practice as ‘activity’. His work is considered as part of the revolutionary element of the New York avant-garde of the 1960s. Kaprow was devoted to pass the barriers between art and the daily human activities, the ordinary life: “The everyday world is the most astonishing inspiration conceivable. A walk down 14th Street is more amazing than any masterpiece of art.” – Allan Kaprow.

His whole life Kaprow searches for ways to ‘unart’ the art practice. His concepts focused more and more on the aesthetics of the experience of the viewer / participant. The visitor as a part of the art piece, with his own opinion, making his own decisions. Kaprow wanted to develop art, that pops up spontaneous and unsuspected in life as a part of it, not besides it. Even while he presented his art activities in different art institutes around the world, Kaprow ‘fought’ openly with the paradox of art in relation to established art institutes like musea, galleries, art spaces. He often criticized them as ‘art mausoleums’. His art shows were willful oppositional, contrary with a wink a to the ‘art’ environment, to interrupt the traditions of presenting art to make us understanding the meaning of ‘art like’ art and ‘life like’ art. His own model to point out the relationship and possibilities between artist, artwork, audience and the daily life.

“Not only does art become life, but life refuses to be itself.”
Allan Kaprow

Allan Kaprow realizid the first YARD in 1961, in the open-air sculpture garden of the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York as part of the group exhibition Environments, Situations, Spaces. Kaprow filled the space with hundreds of car tires encouraging visitors to walk on it, climb, rearrange and interact with the environment. YARD is an ongoing process, during his life he realized the ‘re-doing’ of YARD a several times. Before Kaprow died he manifested to keep YARD alive in the possibility of the ‘re-invention’ of YARD and gave the responsibility of the progress of YARD to the Allan Kaprow Estate.
“I say reinventions, rather than reconstructions, because the works … differ markedly from their originals. Intentionally so. As I wrote in notes to one of them, they were planned to change each time they were remade.” – Allan Kaprow, 1991


The Allan Kaprow Estate and Gallery Hauser & Wirth for their support and trust in NP3 to realize the first reinvention of YARD in The Netherlands after the dead of Allan Kaprow.

Courtesy Allan Kaprow Estate and Hauser & Wirth

Tires sponsored by Kuil Banden

Special thanks to Gemeente Groningen, Provincie Groningen and Nijestee