Alison Knowles, The Boat Book, 2014–15. Wood and metal frame with silkscreen, digital print on silk, beans, books, fishing net, photographs, ship anchor, fabric tunnel, electrical lights, mixed media, and audio recording, 96 x 106 in.

Alison Knowles


Carnegie Museum of Art

For five decades, Alison Knowles has been expanding the parameters of art with performative works and participatory installations. A founding member of Fluxus with George Maciunas, she moved through the 1960s downtown New York City art scene with the likes of Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono, and Nam June Paik. Working alongside Marcel Duchamp and John Cage influenced her development significantly. What set Knowles apart from other Fluxus artists, however, was the element of touch. Now 83, Knowles is recognized as a visual/performing artist whose work translates into a kind of three-dimensional poetry that she says “composes itself or is composed by chance.” For her, art is an extremely organic development. Her most impor­tant performance, Make a Salad, was first presented at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art in 1962…see the entire review in the print version of December’s Sculpture magazine.