FLUXUS

Dates: 1960-1975

Origin: International

Key Artists: Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik

Informal international group of avant-garde artists working in a wide range of media and active from the early 1960s to the late 1970s. Their activities included public concerts or festivals and the dissemination of innovatively designed anthologies and publications, including scores for electronic music, theatrical performances, ephemeral events, gestures and actions constituted from the individual’s everyday experience. Other types of work included the distribution of object editions, correspondence art and concrete poetry. According to the directions of the artist, Fluxus works often required the participation of a spectator in order to be completed (see Performance art).

The name Fluxus, taken from the Latin for ‘flow’, was originally conceived by the American writer, performance artist and composer George Maciunas (1931–78) in 1961 as the title for a projected series of anthologies profiling the work of such artists as the composer La Monte Young (b 1935), George Brecht, Yoko Ono, Dick Higgins (b 1928), Ben, Nam June Paik and others engaged in experimental music, concrete poetry, performance events and ‘anti-films’ (e.g. Paik’s imageless Zen for Film, 1962). In a manifesto of 1962 (‘Neo-Dada in Music, Theater, Poetry, Art’, in J. Becker and W. Vostell: Happenings, Fluxus, Pop Art, Nouveau Réalisme, Hamburg, 1965), Maciunas categorized this diversity under the broad heading of ‘Neo-Dada’ and stressed the interest shared by all the artists in manifesting time and space as concrete phenomena. Influences of Fluxus noted by Maciunas included John Cage’s concrete music (1939) and intermedia event at Black Mountain College, NC (1952), with Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg and others; the Nouveaux Réalistes; the work of Ben; the concept art of Henry Flynt (b 1940); and Duchamp’s notion of the ready-made.

Corris, Michael. “Fluxus.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. 12 Mar. 2010 <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T028714&gt;

Joseph Beuys

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