YOKO ONO PIANO DROP | Al Hansen

YOKO ONO PIANO DROP | Al Hansen

1959 Al Hansen-piano_drop_mit_museum B
In association with Howl! Happening, New York

ABOUT AL HANSEN’S YOKO ONO PIANO DROP

Al Hansen is considered one of the pioneers of Performance Art and Happenings. In 1945, he joined the US Army and was sent to Germany. The next year, while serving there, Hansen executed what may have been the first Happening by pushing a piano out of a bombed out four-story building in the middle of the night.  That “action” was later repeated in cities all over the world and subsequently titled Yoko Ono Piano Drop as an homage to his friend and fellow artist.

Back in New York, he studied experimental music with John Cage at the New School. Other students included, George Brecht, Dick Higgins and Allan Kaprow. These students of Cage and their colleagues including Jackson MacLow, La Monte Young and Robert Watts would significantly shape the international Fluxus and Happenings Movement of the 1960s.

From the early 1960s onward, Hansen was prominent in the downtown art scene, a member of a circle of artists, musicians and dancers that included Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg, Yoko Ono, Wolf Vostell, Robert Rauschenberg and Nam June Paik. In keeping with the unpredictability and experimental quality of all his work, Hansen’s happenings were multimedia events, and performance sites included the subways and streets; rooftops and beaches; the Third Rail Gallery, which Hansen founded in 1962; the Merv Griffin television show, and Cafe au Go Go.

SSB’s presentation of YOKO ONO PIANO DROP embodies Hansen’s spirit and that of his Fluxus compatriots.

Dates and Location for next YOKO ONO PIANO DROP coming soon!

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