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Oral history interview with Alison Knowles, 2010 June 1-2

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Catalog Data

Knowles, Alison, 1933-  Search this
Richards, Judith Olch, 1947-  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Brecht, George  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Chicago, Judy  Search this
De Kooning, Willem  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Gordon, Coco  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph  Search this
Hamilton, Richard  Search this
Hendricks, Jon  Search this
Higgins, Dick  Search this
Johnson, Ray  Search this
Jones, Joe  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Kuehn, Kathy  Search this
Lauf, Cornelia  Search this
Lindner, Richard  Search this
Maciunas, George  Search this
Mac Low, Jackson  Search this
Moorman, Charlotte  Search this
Ono, Yōko  Search this
Paik, Nam June  Search this
Pollock, Jackson  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert  Search this
Saito, Takako  Search this
Schapiro, Miriam  Search this
Schneemann, Carolee  Search this
Schöning, Klaus  Search this
Silverman, Gilbert  Search this
Shiomi, Mieko  Search this
Spoerri, Daniel  Search this
Tenney, James  Search this
Teitelbaum, Richard  Search this
Waśko, Ryszard  Search this
California Institute of the Arts  Search this
Middlebury College  Search this
Pratt Institute. Art School  Search this
Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project  Search this
Sound recordings
Place of publication, production, or execution:
New York (State)
Physical Description:
86 Pages, Transcript
General Note:
Originally recorded on 5 mini discs. Duration is 5 hr., 45 min.
An interview of Alison Knowles conducted 2010 June 1-2, by Judith Olch Richards, for the Archives of American Art's Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project, at Knowles' home and studio, in New York, N.Y.<br /> Knowles speaks of her family background; her father's (an English professor) influence on her education; her love of nature and isolation as a young girl; her French studies at Middlebury College; her transfer to Pratt Institute to study art; the social and academic environment at Pratt; her inclinations towards abstraction; her first marriage to Jim Ericson; her first studio at 423 Broadway; her early jobs as a commercial artist; her first gallery show at Nonagon, in 1958, and how she subsequently burned the paintings in that show; her second marriage to Dick Higgins in 1960; her Judson Gallery Show in 1962 and how she subsequently discarded those works; her involvement in the Fluxus group; her involvement with the "Cage class," and its early performances; her collaboration with John Cage on the book, "Notations" (1968); her collaboration with Marcel Duchamp on a print (1967); the circumstances surrounding her performance piece, "Make a Salad" (1962), her travels through Europe with Higgins; the birth of her twins; her computerized poetic piece and installation, "House of Dust" (1967) and how it was later vandalized; her move to Los Angeles to teach at CalArts; the rebuilding of "House of Dust" at CalArts; her move back to New York; the processes leading up to several projects and collaborations including "Loose Pages," "Big Book," "Bread and Water," and more; where she finds her inspiration; her thoughts on performance art; her studio environment in Barrytown, N.Y.; the influence and support of Germany on her work and Fluxus in general; her recent work, including "Identical Lunch"; and current challenges she faces as an artist.<br /> She recalls Richard Lindner, Adolph Gottlieb, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Judy Chicago, Josef Albers, Dorothy Podber, Ray Johnson, Dick Higgins, Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, Klaus Schöning, Jon Hendricks, Gilbert Silverman, George Maciunas, George Brecht, Jack Mac Low, Yoko Ono, Mieko Shiomi, Takako Saito, Joe Jones, Marcel Duchamp, Daniel Spoerri, Richard Hamilton, Nam June Paik, Charlotte Moorman, Helmut Becker, Coco Gordon, Jim Tenney, Cornelia Lauf, Rirkrit Tirvanija, Allan Kaprow, Simone Forte, Carolee Schneemann, Richard Teitelbaum, Miriam Schapiro, Miguel Abrau, James Fuentes, Cyrilla Wozenter, Kathy Kuehn, Ryszard Wasko.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Alison Knowles, 2010 June 1-2. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
This interview is part of the Elizabeth Murray Oral History of Women in the Visual Arts Project, funded by the A G Foundation.
Biography Note:
Alison Knowles (1933- ) is an artist and a founding member of Fluxus in New York, N.Y. Judith Olch Richards (1947- ) is a former director of iCI in New York, N.Y.
Language Note:
English .
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Fluxus (Group of artists)  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women performance artists  Search this
Performance art  Search this
Women  Search this
Record number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Art