23 Facts About Alison Knowles


Alison Knowles was born on 1933 and is an American visual artist known for her installations, performances, soundworks, and publications.


Alison Knowles graduated from Pratt Institute in New York with an honors degree in fine art.


Alison Knowles admired Helen Frankenthaler and had acquaintance with the work of Jackson Pollock.


Alison Knowles knew of Cage through one of his courses taught at the New School for Social Research in 1958.


Alison Knowles's focus in painting diminished after her show at the Nonegon Gallery in New York, in which she destroyed all of her works in a bonfire behind her brother's house.


Alison Knowles's object-based pieces focus on the audience's tactile and audible interaction with the artwork.


On each scroll, Alison Knowles printed found texts collected from songs, recipes, stories, science, cartoons, and advertisements.


In 1967, Alison Knowles created The House of Dust, perhaps the most widely known example of computer-generated digital poetry, in collaboration with composer James Tenney.


Alison Knowles gave the lists to Tenney, who generated the printed poetry using the FORTRAN programmiong language on an early IBM computer.


Alison Knowles decided to invite people to join her for lunch and to document all the nuances and repetitions.


For Shoes of Your Choice, Alison Knowles asks the participants to simply describe the shoes they are wearing.


In 2011, Alison Knowles performed Shoes of Your Choice and other works for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in "A Celebration of American Poetry at the White House" alongside Billy Collins, the hip-hop actor and poet Common, Elizabeth Alexander, Rita Dove and Kenneth Goldsmith.


Alison Knowles has been active in sound since the late 1960s.


In 1969, Alison Knowles designed and co-edited John Cage's Notations, a book of music manuscripts published by the Something Else Press.


Alison Knowles has created a series of sounded objects, including the bean turner, wrist rubbers, and a bamboo and flax accordion.


Alison Knowles's interest in the sounds produced by beans was explored in a series of four radio programs hosted by the German station Westdeutscher Rundfunk, whose director was a friend and supporter of John Cage.


In 1982, Alison Knowles was awarded the prestigious Karl Sczuka Award for best radio work from WDR for her event score, Bean Sequences.


Alison Knowles produced the Identical Lunch graphic series, which showcases her friends and Fluxus colleagues consuming The Identical Lunch, during the early 1970s.


Alison Knowles visited the apartment of Marcel and Teeny Duchamp to choose color samples for the reprint.


Alison Knowles has been acknowledged for her profound contributions to contemporary art in the forms of a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Grants, a collaborative New York State Council on the Arts Grant, a documenta Professorship at the Kunstakademie Kassel, Germany, the College Art Association Lifetime Achievement Award, and Anonymous was a Woman Grant.


In 2015 Knowles was selected by the art historian Claire Bishop to receive a Francis J Greenburger Award, which go to under-recognized artists every two years.


Alison Knowles has two twin daughters, Jessica and Hannah Higgins.


Alison Knowles lives and works from her loft in New York City's Soho district, where she was a homesteader beginning in the 1950s.