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Al Hansen

American, 1927–1995

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Al Hansen

American, 1927–1995

115
Followers
Biography

While stationed in Germany after WWII, artist Al Hansen dropped a piano from a burned-out building in what is considered the first-ever Happening (which he later recreated for friend and collaborator Yoko Ono). After returning to New York, he studied at the Art Students League and Brooklyn College before joining John Cage’s experimental composition class at The New School, where he met many of the artists with whom he would join the avant-garde group Fluxus. Of his Happenings, Hansen once explained, “I only prepare the skeleton and then invite people to put meat on it and see what the animal looks like in the end.” In addition, Hansen created collages and found object assemblages made from burnt matches, cigarette papers and text ripped from Hershey Bar wrappers, often riffing on images of Venus.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
ICA London, and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Biography

While stationed in Germany after WWII, artist Al Hansen dropped a piano from a burned-out building in what is considered the first-ever Happening (which he later recreated for friend and collaborator Yoko Ono). After returning to New York, he studied at the Art Students League and Brooklyn College before joining John Cage’s experimental composition class at The New School, where he met many of the artists with whom he would join the avant-garde group Fluxus. Of his Happenings, Hansen once explained, “I only prepare the skeleton and then invite people to put meat on it and see what the animal looks like in the end.” In addition, Hansen created collages and found object assemblages made from burnt matches, cigarette papers and text ripped from Hershey Bar wrappers, often riffing on images of Venus.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
ICA London, and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum