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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. Usually considered part of the pop art movement, Oldenburg explores the ironic and humorous aspects of common objects by grossly distorting them in scale, shape, and material.
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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 ?
You will now have to disallow all those things that must never be allowed to happen again.
When the crisis happens, have the highest-ranking person possible go on the record and deal with the issue head-on, according to Steve Chies, chairperson of the American Health Care Association in Washington, D.
To study what happens in an avalanche, scientist Ed Adams hides inside a shed perched on a mountainside.
What may happen and therefore may be the case is an accident that has not yet happened and is not and may never be the case and is therefore a difficulty no one can do away with.
He stated that "people are angry, sad, or frightened not as a direct result of what objectively occurs but because of how they interpret what happens.
What happens, though, is that, as they come increasingly into the world, they have to come, like the river, lower and lower.
In fact, places where change does happen are where people face it and really start to overhaul and rethink these things.
Miracles don't just happen on 34th Street; they can happen right under your nose.
It happens because the owner has been too trustful or is too distracted chasing more business or enjoying success once it happens.
So that system leaves some proportion of people without insurance, which means that two things happen.
As far as we are concerned there is no reason why it should not happen.