Previously at the ICA - Events

Cover of Adrian Henri, Total Art, Environments, Happenings and Performance, W W Norton & Co Inc., 1974 (American edition)

Adrian Henri: Performance, Environments and Happenings

28 Feb 2015

On the occasion of ICA Fox Reading Room exhibition First Happenings: Adrian Henri in the ‘60s and '70s, this panel explores Adrian Henri's work in poetry, music and art. Envisaging his embrace of Total Art as a template for interdisciplinary art practice, panellist re-evaluate Henri's work and his broader significance beyond the labels of ‘Liverpool Poet’ and ‘Pop painter’.

Chaired by Bryan Biggs (Artistic Director, Bluecoat Liverpool), speakers include Mike Evans (musician, poet, ex-Liverpool Scene), Oliver Gilbert (Tate Research Fellow), First Happenings curator Catherine Marcangeli (Paris-based art historian), Barry Miles (writer), Heike Roms (Professor in Performance Studies at Aberystwyth University).

Adrian Henri: Performance, Environments and Happenings

Speaker biographies

  • Bryan Biggs

    Bryan Biggs is Artistic Director of the Bluecoat, Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, where in 2011 he curated the exhibition Democratic Promenade, which included a section on Adrian Henri's 'total art'. He wrote an essay on Adrian Henri and Music in Adrian Henri – Total Artist (Occasional Papers). He has written about art and its intersection with popular culture and co-edited several books including Liverpool City of RadicalsMalcolm Lowry: From the Mersey to the World and Art in a City Revisited. He is also an artist known for his drawings.

  • Mike Evans

    Mike Evans is a musician and writer. He first met Adrian Henri in 1958, and in 1962 participated in the first Event organised by Henri in Liverpool. He took part in further events both individually and with his band the Clayton Squares, before forming the Liverpool Scene group with Adrian in 1967. As a freelance journalist he hosted a show on local radio in Liverpool and was a regular contributor to the UK’s top music weekly newspaper Melody Maker. As author, over twenty books on music, film and popular culture have included the acclaimed The Art of the Beatles in 1984, the best-selling Elvis:A Celebration in 2002, and The Beats (an illustrated account of the Beat Generation) in 2007. His latest book The Blues: A Visual History was published in the UK in January 2015.

  • Oliver Gilbert

    Oliver Gilbert is currently undertaking doctoral research (Tate/University of Southampton) into overlooked and excluded cultural narratives of the 1960s and 1970s. His thesis entitled ‘Rearticulating the Pop Artist Subject: New Institutions, Formations and Identifications in the Political Economy of British Pop Art’ attempts to break with the dominant RCA Painting School discourse to reveal an increasingly varied national field of Pop Art production. An important aspect of his work concerns reassessing the cultural significance of Liverpool ‘Jazz’ artist and poet Adrian Henri whose paintings, assemblages and happenings of the 1960s represent one alternative and highly localised ‘Pop Art’. In conjunction with his historical research, Oliver has assisted in the curation of various Tate exhibitions, including Glam! The Performance Of Style which explored the development of a transatlantic ‘Glam’ culture in music, art and fashion during the early 1970s.

  • Catherine Marcangeli

    Catherine Marcangeli is a Paris-based art historian and curator. She is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Paris, specialising in art since the 1960s. As the executor of the Estate of Adrian Henri, she has edited his Selected and Unpublished Poems, 1965-2000 (LUP, 2007), developed the website and catalogued his Total Art archive. She has also curated many exhibitions of his work in the UK and abroad, including Adrian Henri - Total Art at LJMU's Exhibition Research Centre, as part of the Liverpool Biennial, and touring. She edited Adrian Henri – Total Artist (2014).

  • Barry Miles

    Barry Miles is a central figure in the history of underground culture. Working at Better Books in the mid-1960s, he came into contact with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. In the 1960s, Miles was co-owner of Indica Gallery and helped start the International Times. In London Calling (2010) he chronicled London's post-war bohemia and In the Seventies: Adventures in the Counterculture (2011), he recounted his own experiences of the London and New York art, literary and music scenes. He has written significant biographies of Ginsberg, Frank Zappa, Jack Kerouac, Paul McCartney and others. His latest book, William Burroughs, A Life, was published in 2014 to great acclaim.


  • Heike Roms

    Heike Roms is Professor in Performance Studies at Aberystwyth University. She has published widely on contemporary performance practice (particularly on work emanating from Wales), the history of performance art in a British context, performance historiography, documentation and performance archiving. Heike is director of What’s Welsh for Performance?, a major research initiative devoted to uncovering and archiving the history of performance art in Wales. The project was funded by a large Research Grant from the British Arts and Humanities Research Council AHRC (2009-2011) and won the David Bradby TaPRA Award for Outstanding Research in International Theatre and Performance 2011.


E.g., 19-10-2021
E.g., 19-10-2021