Claes Oldenburg

"Circus: Ironworks/Fotodeath" by Claes Oldenburg, Reuben Gallery 1961, Photo: Robert R. McElroy
Getty Research Institute aquires photo archive of Robert R. McElroy - Artnet

Claes Oldenburg's announcement for the Ray Gun Spex, a series of happenings at the Judson Gallery, February 29, March 1 and 2, 1960.

2 pages, mimeograph, 4.2 x 21.5 cm.

Ellen Hulda Johnson Papers.
Bequest of Ellen Hulda Johnson, 1994.

poster to publicize happenings

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village was the epicenter of the New York avant-garde, a place where artists from overlapping social networks came together for experimental, participatory art programs. Bud Scott, the assistant pastor, invited Oldenburg to organize the 1959-1960 season at the Judson Gallery. His Ray Gun Spex included his happening Snapshots from the City, as well as presentations by Jim Dine, Dick Higgins, Al Hansen, Allan Kaprow, Red Grooms (canceled), and Robert Whitman.

Oldenburg, who was born in Stockholm, gave happenings a Swedish twist with the word "spex," which is Swedish for a comic skit, and perhaps a play on the words spectacles and specifications.

Performance at Judson Gallery, Feb 29, March 1-2, 1960
Happenings at ArtNetWeb

Fluxus at The Museum of Modern Art

Official Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen Webpage


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