The artist as collector and champion of the American vernacular
Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968–2018 accompanies a major retrospective exhibition on one of conceptual art’s most inventive and acclaimed practitioners. Emerging in late-1960s Los Angeles, Ruppersberg was among that city’s first generation of conceptual artists to espouse a working method that privileges ideas and process over conventional aesthetic objects. Deploying posters, books, postcards and even a café and hotel, his projects have consistently had at their center a focus on the American vernacular―its music, popular imagery and ephemera―mining the nuances of culture through its unsung conventions. From his earliest works, the artist has also welcomed the involvement of the viewer as participant, inviting an immersive experience of his work through language, visual density, accumulated elements and ideas.
This fully illustrated catalog is the most comprehensive publication to date on Ruppersberg’s work, featuring a wealth of scholarly content and critical writing connecting Ruppersberg’s work to the larger contemporary art field. Produced by the Walker’s award-winning design studio and in close collaboration with the artist, the book presents a holistic view of Ruppersberg’s wide-ranging, 50-year practice.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1944, Allen Ruppersberg has been the subject of more than 60 solo shows. His only other US retrospective, The Secret of Life and Death, was presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in 1985. His work is in the collection of public institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Le Fonds Ronal d’Art, among many others. Ruppersberg lives and works in Los Angeles, Cleveland and New York.