Al Hansen, ‘Cigarette Venus’, 1979, Fromkin Fine Art

About Al Hansen

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.

American, 1927-1995

Group Shows

Museum Ritter, 
Schleswig, Germany,
Art with Chocolate