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Paul McCarthy

IF YOU TALKED TO ALLAN, he would say he wasn’t an artist. But he still maintained a kind of presence in the art world. I once did a gallery show in the early ’90s and asked him to contribute. After a while he came back and said, “Yeah, I want to do something. Could you ask the dealer to take a garden hose and water the sidewalk every day before the gallery opens?” The piece essentially went unnoticed. It wasn’t announced; there were no photographs or indication by the gallery that anything had happened. And yet it was a kind of participation.

A couple of years ago, when a number of museums approached Allan, I thought it was fucked up that he was asked to redo classic works like Yard; he was being treated like history. I didn’t realize he’d been “reinventing” his earlier works for quite a while, and that they were radically altered for a new period. In fact, for his retrospective next fall

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