This major retrospective presents the work of Allen Ruppersberg (US, b. 1944), the artist’s first comprehensive US survey in more than 30 years. One of the most rigorous and inventive practitioners to emerge from the Conceptual art movement in the late 1960s, Ruppersberg has explored a wide range of media and approaches, rooted in language, images and ideas filtered through the lens of mass culture. His projects consistently focus on the American vernacular—its books, music, popular images, and everyday ephemera—uncovering the visual details and unsung conventions that encourage a rediscovery of the past. Often participatory, Ruppersberg’s works invite a layered experience for the viewer through words and accumulated elements.
The exhibition offers an opportunity to experience the artist’s work with unprecedented breadth and depth. Many of the pieces—from private and public collections in Europe and elsewhere—have never before been exhibited in US museums. Featured artworks include early installations such as Al’s Cafe and Al’s Grand Hotel, his groundbreaking participatory projects of the late 1960s; photo-based narratives combining text and image; and more recent installations containing his commercial letterpress posters, ephemera, drawings, and films. The show will also include a selection of artist’s books. The exhibition is accompanied by a major catalogue published by the Walker Art Center.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Ruppersberg’s You & Me (2013)—a public artwork first shown as a billboard at the High Line, New York—will be featured in the Target Project Space, adjacent to the Walker’s restaurant Esker Grove.
Curator: Siri Engberg, Senior Curator, Visual Arts; with Fabián Leyva-Barragán, Curatorial Fellow, Visual Arts