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PREVIEW: Allen Ruppersberg Retrospective: 50 Years of Visual Art (Walker Art Museum)

Allen Ruppersberg’s The Singing Posters: Allen Ginsberg’s Howl by Allen Ruppersberg (Part 1 & 2) (2003). Photo courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali.

Posters? Check. Comic? Check. Book covers? Check! Record covers? Check-check! This is just a small sample of Allen Ruppersberg’s broad body of work, which will be showcased in a 50-year retrospective exhibition at the Walker Art Museum opening March 17.

Allen Ruppersberg (b. 1944) is a prolific American artist whose early work was strongly influenced by the Conceptual art movement. Conceptualism, which was most prominent from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, rejected traditional definitions and delineation of art. A key inspiration for Conceptualism was Marcel DuChamp’s 1917 Fountain, which presented a mounted urinal as a piece of museum art – a piece that resonated with Conceptualists not so much for the farcical nature that some read into the work, but because the work itself was so dominated by the central idea or concept. Ideas championed by the Conceptualist movement were also key inspirations for music composers such as John Cage.

The exhibition coming to the Walker is curated by Siri Engberg and will also tour the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.
The many works being featured will give an unprecedented look at Ruppersberg’s prolific and varied work. These include numerous pieces borrowed from private collections, the billboard art You & Me (2013) from New York’s High Line, films, drawings, letterpress prints, and more.

An image from Ruppersberg’s Big Trouble (2010), a series of 10 images created by cutting out and enlarging comic art. Photo courtesy of Greene Naftali.

Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968–2018 will be at the Walker from March 17–July 29, 2018.

Twin Cities Arts Reader