new-york

Al Hansen

Andrea Rosen Gallery

“I am not at all interested in having a retrospective exhibition of my work,” artist Al Hansen (1927–1995) wrote toward the end of his life, adding that such a show “would take up at least an airplane hangar or two.” Putting together an overview of the innumerable assemblages, collages, paintings, and other objects that Hansen produced over the course of his lengthy career would indeed be a daunting task. But poignantly if implicitly absent from Hansen’s imagined hangars are works that challenge curatorial acumen not through unruly profusion but through evanescence. Somehow Hansen’s performative work—Happenings, music and spoken-word pieces, actions based on “scores”—seems even more difficult to recapture than that of other members of the New York Fluxus milieu he was part of. His art and persona were imbued with an antic, hey-kids-let’s-put-on-a-show kineticism that seemed to owe as much

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