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Allan Kaprow: YARD 1961/2014, installation view at The Hepworth Wakefield, 2014. Photograph: Gabriel Szabo / Guzelian
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Allan Kaprow: Yard 1961/2014

04 Jul - 31 Aug 2014

This was the first reinvention of Allan Kaprow’s iconic environment YARD in the UK.

Allan Kaprow (1927–2006) first realised YARD in 1961 in the sculpture garden behind the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York, as part of the group exhibition Environments, Situations, Spaces. Five existing sculptures in the courtyard, including works by Barbara Hepworth and Alberto Giacometti, were wrapped in protective tar paper before Kaprow filled the space with hundreds of car tyres. Dispersed in no particular order, Kaprow encouraged visitors to walk on, climb, rearrange and interact with them.


Allan Kaprow YARD 1961/2014 installation in The Calder

For YARD 1961/2014 at The Calder, artists Koo Jeong-A and Rivane Neuenschwander, dance artists Nicola Conibere, Janine Harrington and Robbie Synge, and musicians David Toop and Rie Nakajima were invited to present temporary performative and physical interventions in the environment.

The interventions each examined the formal characteristics of YARD as well as the social and political dynamics embedded in the work, while always allowing visitors to engage with the installation as they pleased. Remnants of each intervention accumulated in the space as YARD progressed, adding to the materials that visitors were encouraged to use.

About Allan Kaprow

Kaprow originally trained as a painter. However, in the mid-1950s, after studying with John Cage at the pioneering Black Mountain College in North Carolina, he began conceiving live events and environmental works that incorporated painting, installation, music, dance and everyday activities.

Coining the term ‘Happening’ in 1958 to describe these events, though he later preferred the word ‘activities’. They were designed to disrupt the relationship between artist, artwork and audience, and cast everyday life as the primary subject matter of his art.

Allan Kaprow, YARD 1961/2014, installation shot of Koo Jeong-A's installation

Exhibition supported by

Tamara Bloomberg and the Allan Kaprow Estate, Siobhan Davies Dance and Kate Coyne, Pennine Tyres Ltd. and Dunlop Aircraft Tyres Limited and Machine Shop.