Fluxus: The Art of the Everyday

Examples of Fluxus artwork appear in many of our auctions, and demand seems to be on the rise for works by the group, which was active from the early 1960s through the late 1970s.  

There have been recent shows at MoMA and NYU’s Grey Art Gallery featuring the avant-garde, multimedia artistic movement that was founded by Lithuanian-born George Maciunas (1931-1978) and had ideological ties to Dadaism.

Fluxus utilized myriad media, including performance art, music, found material, ephemera and poetry, with the idea of making art accessible while also negating its highfalutin’ elitist status. Fluxus artists combined art with the everyday experience, to the point that anything had the potential to be art, and anyone was able to understand, interact with and experience it. The use of ephemeral objects emphasized the fleeting nature of existence (the flux) that Fluxus artists aimed to capture and celebrate.

A highlight in today’s auction of Contemporary Art is a collection of 11 Fluxkits, each contained in its own plastic case. They include Flux Napkins, Games and Puzzles and a Flux Suicide Kit. 

A different lot of fluxkits, this one containing seven, sold at a May 13, 2014 auction for $15,625. The set had once been in the collection of avant-garde filmmaker Stan VanDerBeek. 

Our Art & Illustrated Books auctions also feature Fluxus material, such as Jonas Mekas’s Reminiscensijos (Reminiscences), designed by Maciunas, with photographic plates, printed verse in Lithuanian and a thick wood cover stenciled with the edition number, $1,440 and Maciunas’s Apron. Stomach Anatomy and Apron. Venus de Milo, screenprinted vinyl with grommets, $360 each.