Allen Ruppersberg’s conceptual art practice has for five decades focused on the American vernacular—its books, music, popular images, and everyday ephemera. “It’s definitely about saving things that I think are worthwhile and that might disappear but that also goes back to the beginnings of thinking about what you want to make,” the artist told Hammer Museum curator Aram Moshayedi during the opening-day talk for Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968–2018, the artist’s first comprehensive US survey in more than 30 years. “You know you’re making things out of ephemeral and throwaway stuff for a reason, and that’s to say that this can be art too.”
The March 17, 2018 talk concludes with a performance by Terry Allen, a singer, songwriter, and recording and visual artist with particularly close ties to Ruppersberg: a classmate at Chouinard Art Institute in the late 1960s, he has collaborated on many Ruppersberg projects over the past five decades, including on the 1969 installation Al’s Cafe.
Get Walker Reader in your inbox. Sign up to receive first word about our original videos, commissioned essays, curatorial perspectives, and artist interviews.