Reinventions of Allan Kaprow’s 1961 installation, Yard
In 1961 Allan Kaprow filled the courtyard of the Martha Jackson Gallery with a pile of automobile tires, and the resulting sculptural/environment/installation piece, Yard, is now regarded by many as the historical root-note for the symphony (some would say cacophony) of environments, happenings, earth-works and installations that have followed, marching along their enigmatic little way right up to the present. One might argue that the surrealists and dadaists were pioneering this territory long before Kaprow came along (the Duchamp installation at the Philadelphia Art Museum comes to mind, as does the various antics of Salvador Dali) but never mind all that. Does anyone really care who came first? Art historians, academics and other artsy egghead-types make their trade by arguing over the fine points of how all these things are to be distinguished from one another; the rest of us can just enjoy looking. A folded flyer/handout/poster accompanies the installation with some interesting factoids and a reflection about Mr. Kaprow’s work as re-imagined by the three artists, William Pope.I., Josiah McElheny, and Sharon Hayes.
These are photographs I took while visiting Sharon Hayes’ “reinvention piece,” Yard (Sign), which was installed at the New York Marble Cemetery on 2nd Avenue in the East Village October 2-4. (The “Stolen Santa” sign reminds me of Mike Kelly’s work somehow). Yard (Sign) is gone now, but Yard (To Harrow) by William Pope.I. can be viewed at Hauser & Wirth Gallery at 32 East 69th street until October 24th.