Concept

George Maciunas

Summary
George Maciunas (pronməˈchuːnəs; Jurgis Mačiūnas; November 8, 1931 – May 9, 1978) was a Lithuanian American artist, born in Kaunas. A founding member and the central coordinator of Fluxus, an international community of artists, architects, composers, and designers, he is most famous for organising and performing early happenings and for assembling a series of highly influential artists' multiples. His father, Alexander M. Maciunas, was a Lithuanian architect and engineer who had trained in Berlin, and his mother, Leokadija, was a Russian-born dancer from Tiflis affiliated with the Lithuanian National Opera and, later, Aleksandr Kerensky's private secretary, helping him complete his memoirs. After fleeing Lithuania to avoid being arrested by the advancing Red Army in 1944, and living briefly in Bad Nauheim, Frankfurt, Germany, initially under Nazi control and then under the occupying forces, Jurgis Mačiūnas and his family emigrated to the USA in 1948, living in a middle class area of Long Island, New York. After arriving in the USA, George studied art, graphic design, and architecture at Cooper Union, architecture and musicology at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh and finally art history at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts specializing in the European and Siberian art of migrations. His studies lasted eleven years from 1949 to 1960 and were completed in succession. This began a fascination with the history of art for the rest of his life, and whilst there he began his first art-history chart, measuring 6 by 12 feet, a "time/space chart categorizing all past styles, movements, schools, artists etc." between 1955 and 1960. Whilst this project remained unfinished, he would publish three versions of a history of the avant-garde. The first appeared in 1966, with Fluxus as the focal point. He also began a correspondence with Raoul Hausmann, an original member of Berlin Dada, who advised him to stop using the term "neo-dada" and concentrate instead on "fluxus" to describe the nascent movement.
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