Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happenings. The Pace Gallery

The Pace Gallery in Chelsea has just mounted another one of their wonderful museum quality exhibitions, this one documenting the Happenings movement that occurred in the young downtown art scene of the late 1950’s and early 60’s.  These were free and loose theatrical events that had the impression of just “happening” but of course a lot of planning and time went into these performances and events that had their roots not only in theatre and dance but also in the surreal and dada movements.   The exhibition is big and loaded with great stuff including photographs (some in color), videos, rare documents, sculptures, paintings and drawings by then unknown artists such as Claes Oldenberg, Jim Dine, Lucas Samaras, Red Grooms and many others.  I kept thinking to myself how did I miss seeing these works when they were originally done, well of course I was only 8 or 9 at the time, so that's how come I missed them, but later on I would meet some of these marvelous artists who made up this brief moment in American Art that would lead to Pop Art, and influence dance, music and poetry. The show is spiffy and the installation is very impressive, looking like a million bucks, which I'm sure it came close to costing.


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