March 13, 2018 - Walker Art Center - Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968–2018
March 13, 2018

Walker Art Center

Allen Ruppersberg, The Singing Posters: Allen Ginsberg's Howl by Allen Ruppersberg (Part 1 & 2), 2003. Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York. 

Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968–2018
March 17–July 29, 2018

Walker Art Center
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The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis is pleased to announce the upcoming presentation of a major retrospective on the work of pioneering Conceptual artist Allen Ruppersberg (b. 1944), marking the artist’s first comprehensive US survey in over 30 years. Organized by Walker senior curator Siri Engberg, Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968-2018 is an opportunity to experience the artist’s work with unprecedented breadth and depth. Many of the works included, from private and public collections in Europe and elsewhere, have never before been exhibited in US museums. On view at the Walker from March 17–July 29, 2018, the exhibition will travel to the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles from February 10–May 12, 2019.

Born in Cleveland, Ruppersberg moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s with the goal of becoming an illustrator, but soon became active in an emerging scene led by artists such as John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, William Leavitt, and others exploring the interface of language and image filtered through the lens of mass culture. His early projects—including environments made with found objects; wry, narrative photo works; and a novel copied by hand—began a career-long engagement with creating works that prompt an experience of both reading and looking, as they intertwine fact with fiction.

Ever since, Ruppersberg has actively worked between Los Angeles, New York, and Europe. Wide ranging in approach, his work is unified by his regular use of American vernacular culture—including books, posters, newspapers and magazines, records, old films, and other vintage items—which he deploys from his vast collections to use as ongoing source material. Featuring more than 120 works made over the past 50 years, the Walker exhibition includes the artist’s photo works combining text and image, early assemblage sculptures, and his groundbreaking environments Al’s Cafe (1969) and Al’s Grand Hotel (1971), participatory projects that helped put Los Angeles on the map as a center for Conceptual art. The exhibition also includes a broad range of drawings and collages, and more recent, immersive installations featuring such materials as commercial advertising posters, large-scale photographs, films, and books.

The exhibition charts Ruppersberg’s key themes: movement between places, presence and absence, the book as object and subject, memorials, and self-portraiture. It also reveals his reverence for cultural forms “destined to disappear,” from postcards and wall calendars to hand-painted signs and early recorded music. Perhaps more than any other artist of his generation, Ruppersberg has mined the nuances of culture through its visual details, unsung conventions and modes of the everyday, often welcoming the involvement of the viewer as social participant, an aspect of his work that has had particular resonance with a younger generation of artists.

The exhibition is accompanied by a major catalogue published by the Walker Art Center. Edited with text by Siri Engberg. Additional texts by Thomas Crow, Matthew S. Witkovsky, Aram Moshayedi, and Allen Ruppersberg.

Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968–2018 is organized by the Walker Art Center. Lead support for the exhibition is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.

Major support is provided by the Prospect Creek Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support is generously provided by Carlo Bronzini Vender, Jill and Peter Kraus, Margo Leavin, and Maja Oeri.

Support for the exhibition catalogue is provided by Greene Naftali, Marc Selwyn Fine Art, and a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of Walker Art Center publications.

Walker Art Center
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