Fluxus at Rutgers University

Fluxus At Rutgers University

Fluxus at Rutgers University

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The mid-20th-century art movement Fluxus had a strong association with Rutgers University.

Allan Kaprow and Robert Watts, both key figures in the movement, originally met while they were students at Columbia University; though only together there for one year, soon after they both began teaching at Rutgers. George Brecht was working in New Brunswick, New Jersey when he saw the work of Robert Watts on display at the university. He was so impressed that he sought him out and they became friends.

Claes Oldenburg referred to Allan Kaprow, George Segal, George Brecht, Robert Whitman, Robert Watts, Lucas Samaras, Geoffrey Hendricks and Roy Lichtenstein as the New Jersey School. George Segal and Allan Kaprow referred to it as the New Brunswick School of Painting.

In the late 1950s, George Segal invited Allan Kaprow to go on a mushroom hunt with him and John Cage. Cage is remembered for his class in experimental composition, but he also taught mushroom identification. A discussion on the use of electronic sound recordings in art pieces led to Cage inviting Kaprow to his class. George Segal, Allan Kaprow, and Robert Watts all attended Cage’s class.

The first "happenings"

Segal hosted annual picnics for his New York art friends. It was at one of these that Kaprow first coined the term Happening, for an impromptu artistic event, in the Spring of 1957. ‘Happening’ first appeared in print in the Winter 1958 issue of the Rutgers undergraduate literary magazine,...
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