Allen Ruppersberg and Robert Heinecken

Allen Ruppersberg and Robert Heinecken

WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels

Allen Ruppersberg,No Time Left To Start Again / The B and D of R’n’R #2d, 2010. Photo © Sébastien Agnetti. Courtesy Air de Paris, Paris.

May 15, 2014

Allen Ruppersberg: No Time Left to Start Again and Again
Robert Heinecken: Lessons in Posing Subjects

16 May–17 August 2014

Opening: 15 May, 18:30h 
DJ set by Doug Shipton (Finders Keepers Records, London)

Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354
1190 Brussels
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 11–18h

T +32 (0) 2 340 00 53

Allen Ruppersberg: No Time Left to Start Again and Again
Curated by Devrim Bayar

Allen Ruppersberg (b. 1944 in Cleveland, Ohio; lives and works in Santa Monica, California, and Brooklyn, New York) belongs to a generation of American conceptual artists that changed the way art was made and thought about at the end of the 1960s. His multiform artistic work, which includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, installations, performances and books, amongst other media, is inspired by the Beat Generation and anchored in a critical approach to media and consumer society. Over the years, Ruppersberg, an avid collector, has accumulated an impressive quantity of books, posters, postcards, educational films, magazines, records and other documents or objects that bare witness to American popular culture. This archive serves as a regular resource for the artist, who tirelessly draws, copies, classifies and recycles elements in the making of his works, questioning notions of authorship.

At WIELS, Ruppersberg presents one of his more recent works, titled No Time Left To Start Again/The B and D of R ‘n’ R. It is a sweeping survey of recorded American vernacular music, from from pre-war blues and gospel and Dixieland jazz on through country and R&B as they became Rock and Roll. The monumental installation assembles different types of materials, stemming from the archives of the artist: records (mostly 78rpm), sheet music, amateur snapshots, and obituaries.

In parallel with the installation, Ruppersberg presents a selection of earlier works that echo certain notions important to The B and D of R ‘n’ R, such as memory, the transmission of knowledge and the relationship between art and popular culture. 

The exhibition is organized in collaboration with The Art Institute of Chicago and benefits from the support of the galleries Greene Naftali and Micheline Szwajcer.

Robert Heinecken: Lessons in Posing Subjects
Curated by Devrim Bayar

Although he rarely used a camera, Robert Heinecken (1931–2006) is widely regarded as one of the most influential photographers of post-war America. He described himself as a ‘paraphotographer,’ and it was as such that he tirelessly explored the nature of photography and the ideas traditionally associated with it through a large variety of techniques, including sculpture, video, printmaking and collage. The exhibition at WIELS examines a pivotal period in his career, during which Heinecken used a Polaroid SX-70 camera. The presentation includes the first examples of works using this medium, starting in the mid-1970s until his most iconic project, the series Lessons in Posing Subjects, dating from 1981–1982, and presented here in its entirety. A pioneer of the Pictures Generation, which emerged at the time, Heinecken explored the standardising effect of mass media and the link between original and copy, while pursuing themes that span his entire oeuvre, such as American popular culture, consumer society, pornography and gender.

The exhibition benefits from the support of the galleries Cherry and Martin, Petzel, Marc Selwyn Fine Art and Rhona Hoffman.
The exhibition will travel to Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool and Fri Art – Kunsthalle Fribourg.

Complementary programme
5 June
Look Who’s Talking: Devrim Bayar

18 June
Lecture by Dennis Jelonnek: ‘The vast difference between taking a picture and making a photograph’ – on Robert Heinecken’s Polaroid practice. 

Press contact
Micha Pycke: micha.pycke [​at​] / T +32 (0) 2 340 00 51 / M +32 (0) 486 680 070


Allen Ruppersberg and Robert Heinecken at WIELS, Brussels
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WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels
May 15, 2014

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