20 Feb 2020 – 5 Oct 2020

Allan Kaprow. I Will Always Be A Painter – Of Sorts. Drawings, Paintings, Happenings, Environments

A cura di

Sergio Risaliti e Barry Rosen

Hours & Tickets Arrow

Where and when


20February 2020


5October 2020

“Being an artist today is to know oneself, to know oneself is to forget oneself
(which is the image one has of one’s “self”).”

– Allan Kaprow

Exhibition Hours

Winter Hours

Monday – Sunday

11:00 am

8:00 pm


The Museo Novecento announces the great anthology dedicated to Allan Kaprow (Atlantic City, 1927 – Encinitas, 2006) father of Environments and Happenings, a multifaceted and tireless artist, who during his intense career has dealt with the most diverse media. The exhibition, ALLAN KAPROW. I will always be a painter – of sorts, curated by Sergio Risaliti and Barry Rosen, promoted by the Municipality of Florence, created in collaboration with Allan Kaprow Estate and Hauser & Wirth, opens to the public on February 20 and presents for the first time in Italy a corpus of about forty works on paper and canvas representing the artist’s debut.

Allan Kaprow, also very active as a theorist, has influenced generations of artists, promoting an idea of ​​art that is both conceptual and spontaneous, utopian and provocative, political and ironic.

After a career as a painter strongly influenced by Jackson Pollock’s Action Painting, between the end of the fifties and the beginning of the sixties, he abandons the more classic means of expression and begins to create interactive and ephemeral environments and actions that question the idea of ​​a monumental art always equal to itself and unchanging over time. In line with the typical contamination of those years between performance, theater, dance and visual arts, his works promote an ever greater integration between spaces, materials, time and people.

In order to reconstruct the artist’s creative parable, the Museo Novecento traces a backward path within his research, which opens with the reinvention of two emblematic works – FLUIDS (1967) on the ground floor conceived by the artists Davide D ‘ Amelio, Anna Dormio, Bekhbaatar Enkthur, Esma Ilter, Giulia Poppi, Negar Sh, currently in residence at the Manifattura Tabacchi, and WORDS (1962) on the first floor designed by Dania Menafra, who is confronted with the creation of desire and consent in society digital dominated by emotional marketing – through his intense graphic and editorial production, the videos and actions of the seventies (exhibited in the Cinema room), ending with the drawings and paintings.

These last rooms collect a corpus of about forty works (20 paintings and 19 drawings), exhibited for the first time in Italy, which shed light on the performative implications of these early works on paper and canvas. Thanks to the experience of Action Painting, Kaprow understood how a painting could involve the viewer to the point of giving the impression of leaving the wall and entering real space. These works lay the foundations for a new conception of a work of art that opens up to a radical blend of art and life, art and urban space, art and theater.
On the occasion of the exhibition, the artists Jacopo Miliani and Elena Mazzi were invited to design two further reinventions of FLUIDS which will take place outside the Museum respectively on 4 April in some squares in the historic center and on 1 May at the Manifattura Tabacchi.


Allan Kaprow
WORDS, 1962 (New York)
2020 Version
Dania Menafra
Museo Novecento, Firenze

Under the museum’s Renaissance loggia, already used for site-specific interventions around the theme of language, Dania Menafra designed WOM!, her reinvention of the Words environment.
WOM!, acronym for Word of Mouth, is the spontaneous word of mouth that, through old and new media, runs quickly from mouth to mouth. Word of mouth is also one of the means of emotional marketing strategies most used by companies and political leaders on social networks to create an emotional bond with users-consumers. It is a business model that, by leveraging the creative energies stimulated by emotions and that sense of belonging defined as the community effect, aims to trigger viral contents that act as catalysts of consumption and loyalty to direct collective consensus: rivers are born of words where everything is lawful, as long as we talk about it.

WOM! it consists of a few hundred phrases, words and emoticons extrapolated from the public profiles of commercial brands. Printed as posters and distributed along the loggia, they can be picked up and pasted on the walls to create new associations. Just as marketing focuses on the active role of the user-consumer, so the visitor is invited to interact with the sentences in their own way, in a game of identity and loss of meaning, where the encounter between language and public reveals its potential, leaving room for an increasingly free and aware creativity.

Dania Menafra (Siena, 1989) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, graduating in 2015/2016 in Visual Arts and New Expressive Languages, Graphics. She worked as a graphic designer for: Graphic Office of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, 40th International Art Site of Montepulciano (Siena), Birra Amiata (Siena), Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art (Prato), Foundation Palazzo Strozzi (Florence), The screen of art Film Festival (Florence), Villa Romana (Florence), Franco Zeffirelli Foundation (Florence), La Progressiva (Florence), Cultural Association Hidden City (Florence), Manifattura Tabacchi (Florence), Winter Museum (Siena), Novecento Museum (Florence).

Allan Kaprow
FLUIDS, 1967 (Pasadena, Los Angeles)
2020 Version
Davide D’Amelio, Anna Dormio, Bekhbaatar Enkthur, Esma Ilter, Giulia Poppi, Negar Sh
Museo Novecento, Firenze

FOLD FLUIDS is the reinvention conceived by Davide D’Amelio, Anna Dormio, Bekhbaatar Enkthur, Esma Ilter, Giulia Poppi, Negar Sh, the six young artists who are currently carrying out a residency at the Manifattura Tabacchi in Florence. For three months the museum public will be able to participate in the construction of a version of FLUIDS made no longer with blocks of ice but with sheets of paper folded according to the origami technique. In the hands of the visitors each sheet is transformed into a brick of paper that will build a parallelepiped of 9 x 2.5 meters, respecting the original dimensions of the first version of FLUIDS. In Italian popular culture it is customary to say “to make a house of cards” to allude to an enterprise that is doomed to fail, but it is in the failure, in the questioning and in the constant destruction that new possibilities for reorganization of the structures open up. they are social, economic or political.

Bekhbaatar Enkhtur (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 1994); Davide D’Amelio (Termoli, 1990); Anna Dormio (Putignano, 1994); Esma İlter (Marmara Eregli, Turchia, 1993); Negar Sh (Theran, Iran, 1989); Giulia Poppi (Modena, 1992).


Allan Kaprow

1927, Atlantic City –2006, Encinitas

Artists involved in the reinvention

Davide D’Amelio

Anna Dormio

Bekhbaatar Enkhtur

Esma Ilter

Elena Mazzi

Dania Menafra

Jacopo Milani

Giulia Poppi

Negar Sh

Curated by

Sergio Risaliti

Barry Rosen

Scientific Coordination

Eva Francioli

Francesca Neri

Stefania Rispoli


Luca Puri


Elisa di Lupo

Press Office Comune di Firenze

Olivia Bongianni

Tabloid Soc. Coop

Lea Codognato e Caterina Briganti




Visual Identity

FRUSH design studio


Dania Menafra


Ph Credits

Leonardo Morfini

In collaboration with

Allan Kaprow Estate

Hauser & Wirth

Manifattura Tabacchi