Allen Ruppersberg, The Singing Posters: Allen Ginsberg's Howl by Allen Ruppersberg (Parts I-III), 2003/2005 (detail). Commercially printed letterpress posters. Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York; photo courtesy Skirball Museum, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles; photo: Robert Wedemeyer.

Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968–2018

  • This is a past exhibition

Allen Ruppersberg (American, b. 1944) has been collecting, rearranging, and retelling real life for more than fifty years. A pioneer of Conceptual art—a way of working in which an idea dictates an artwork’s final form—Ruppersberg has persistently embraced the use of language and everyday materials, focusing on what he calls “the vocabulary of the ordinary.” Though it varies in style and technique, his art is unified by his consistent use of his extensive collections of American ephemera and printed matter.

Hailing from Cleveland, Ruppersberg has divided his time between Los Angeles and New York since the 1970s. He moved to California in 1962 to study commercial art. His interests, however, soon shifted as he joined a growing scene of artists exploring the interface of words and images against the backdrop of Hollywood and the counter-culture of the 1960s.His early projects—wry photo narratives, a novel copied by hand, and environments filled with found objects—established his ongoing practice of making works that prompt an experience of both reading and looking as they intertwine fact with fiction.

This exhibition, the artist’s first major US retrospective in more than thirty years, charts the themes that are key to Ruppersberg’s work: movement between places, presence and absence, the book as object and subject, memorials, and self-portraiture. It also reveals his reverence for the by-products of culture that are “destined to disappear” from regular use, such as postcards, old films, and hand-painted signs. By reframing remnants from the past, Ruppersberg seeks a space between art and reality as he celebrates the poetics of everyday life.

Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968–2018 is organized by the Walker Art Center, and curated by senior curator Siri Engberg, with assistance from curatorial fellows Jordan Carter and Fabián Leyva-Barragán. The Hammer’s presentation is organized by curator Aram Moshayedi, with curatorial assistant Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi.

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. Major support for the Hammer Museum's presentation is provided by the Hammer Global Council. Generous support is also provided by Kathi and Gary Cypres, Karyn Kohl and Silas Dilworth, and Chara Schreyer and Gordon Freund, with additional support from the Lenore S. and Bernard A. Greenberg Fund.

Media sponsorship is provided by Cultured Magazine, KCET, and KCRW 89.9.

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