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an artistic event of a theatrical nature, but usually improvised spontaneously without the framework of a plot. The term originated with the creation and performance in 1959 of Allan Kaprow's "18 Happenings in 6 Parts." This work emphasized various sorts of performances and experiences, including slide projection, dance, and taste and odor sensations. Many examples of the genre required audience participation, and the aesthetic effect produced was a result of the combination of events experienced. Celebrated happenings include Claes OldenburgOldenburg, Claes
, 1929–, Swedish-American artist, b. Stockholm, raised Chicago, studied at Yale, moved to New York 1956. Usually considered part of the pop art movement, Oldenburg explores the ironic and humorous aspects of common objects by grossly distorting them in
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's "Store" (1961), "Autobodies" (1963), and "Washes" (1965); Robert RauschenbergRauschenberg, Robert
, 1925–2008, American painter, b. Port Arthur, Tex., as Milton Ernest Rauschenberg. He studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, with Josef Albers at Black Mountain College, and at New York's Art Students League.
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's "Map Room II" (1965); Robert Whitman's "The American Moon" (1960); and Kaprow's own "Calling" (1965).


See RoseLee Goldberg, Performance Art (1988); R. E. Haywood, Revolution of the Ordinary: Allen Kaprow and the Invention of Happenings (1993); J. F. Rodenbeck, Radical Prototypes: Allen Kaprow and the Invention of Happenings (2011).

References in periodicals archive ?
The rise in the number of events that must never be allowed to happen again is, I freely admit, something we must and shall address but this has to be seen in the context of a comparable decrease in the number of occurrences of the phrase 'must never happen again', which has halved.
Here John explains something that, in a sense, is going to happen.
When a PR disaster happens, there's an immediate need to redefine your company's image by reaching out to the community, according to Smith.
The concept of this book alone is enough to keep you up at night, wondering just what could happen and what you would do if you were in the character's shoes.
People can be divided into three groups: Those who make things happen, Those who watch things happen, and Those who wonder what happened.
An avalanche is a natural disaster that can happen anytime snow builds up on a steep slope.
I suggested that thinking that something might happen was one way of protecting yourself against the possibility that it would happen.
Dallaire takes our fingers and places them in Rwanda's wounds, so that we might know beyond any doubt what did happen, and so we might remember that the Rwanda genocide didn't just happen to Rwandans--it happened to all of us--and it is thus incumbent on us all to prevent it.
The question of what will happen should Japanese casualties be taken, however, seems wholly geared towards the likelihood that only "enemy" fire will inflict such tragedies.
To compose these thoughts using propositions is accidental like all things that happen and are the case.
What we thought was going to happen in the world is happening now.