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Harry Stendhal

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Harry Stendhal serves as Founder and Chairman of Fluxus Foundation, a role he has held since 2009. The foundation promotes the work and ideas of George Maciunas, an influential American Lithuanian artist and architect, best known as the founder and central organizer of Fluxus, an interdisciplinary art movement that gained prominence in the 1960s. Fluxus was a global collective of artists, musicians, and designers bound by their intermedia experimentalism and political engagement in the sixties. Critical to Fluxus’ DIY objective was a reconstruction of the arts from a context of consumer culture and passive reception to an active culture of engagement. Artists collectively viewed themselves as social catalysts carrying out communal projects that pioneered the exploration of artistic collaboration, ‘intermedia,’ sexual politics, and racial diversity.

Fluxus influenced conceptual art, performance art, political art, mail art, minimalism, artists’ books, new music, and mass-produced art. Described as “an active philosophy of experience that sometimes only takes the form of art”, Fluxus thoughts and practices have played a pioneering role in frameworks such as multimedia, telecommunications, hypertext, industrial design, urban planning, architecture, publishing, philosophy, and management theory. John Cage, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Joseph Beuys, Christo, Shigeko Kubota, Ben Vautier, Alison Knowles, and George Brecht were among its members.

Part of the mission of the George Maciunas Foundation is to make a repository of academic and scholarly documents available to researchers and curators. Over the past few years, Harry has consulted and collaborated with curators and museums from around the world in support of academic research about Maciunas and Fluxus exhibitions.

George Maciunas/Fluxus Foundation Inc. is commited to fostering Fluxus scholarship, providing artists grants, cultivating Maciunas’ ideas into practical contemporary applications, sponsoring Fluxus related exhibitions, and protecting the Maciunas name in a manner respectful of his original mission. The foundation aims to facilitate greater access to information and materials about Maciunas while ensuring intellectual property and copyright protection. George Maciunas Foundation Inc. pledges to pay tribute and revitalize the legacy of an innovative artist who worked with great principle and dedication to construct a more equitable and creative way of life for all.

Since Harry Stendhal re-introduced Maciunas’ work to the contemporary art world through the foundation, the artist has seen a rebirth of interest by critics, scholars, and the public. A revitalized interest and national increase in Fluxus-inspired exhibitions has emerged. The national traveling exhibition, “Fluxus and the Essential Questions of Life,” debuted at Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art and later moved to NYU and University of Michigan.
“Thing/Thought: Fluxus Editions” at the Museum of Modern Art exhibited George Maciunas’ Fluxus Editions and artist Fluxboxes containing musical scores, found objects, and publications that reflected the conceptual interdisciplinary approach of the movement. The exhibition, “at/around/beyond: Fluxus at Rutgers,” concentrated on the university’s legacy as a center of experimental art and involvement with Fluxus ideas.

More recent exhibitions include “Fluxus! Anti-Art Is Also Art” in Straatsgalerie Stuttgart, a fifty-year anniversary exhibition of the Staatsgalerie’s Sohm Archive, the Cooper Union Exhibition “Anything Can Substitute Art: Maciunas in SoHo” showing George Maciunas’ early works and plans in developing The Fluxhouse Cooperatives in SoHo during the 1960s, and The Museum of Modern Art exhibition, “Charting Fluxus: George Maciunas’ Ambitious Art History,” which presents Maciunas’ exhaustive chart tracing the history of Fluxus within the art historical canon.

In addition to to exhibitions, Maciunas’ work is part of the archives of The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The Getty Research Institute, and Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. With its recent acquisition of the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection, The Museum of Modern Art currently holds the largest collection of Maciunas and Fluxus works in the world.

Mr. Stendhal is also playing a key role in the advancement of “Fluxhouse,” a prefabricated modular building system designed by George Maciunas to promote social welfare by raising the quality of living in communities across the economic spectrum. The Fluxhouse design was completed and copyrighted in 1965 as an adaptable, multifunctional structure which can be used to build a single-family house, high-rise, or even an entire city (Fluxcity™). It can be made from abundantly available materials, is intended for factory production, and is resistant to hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods.

 

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