The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

UCLA / ARMAND HAMMER MUSEUM | 10899 Wilshire Blvd.
CA-90024 Los Angeles

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press release

The Hammer Museum announces the upcoming presentation of a major retrospective on the work of conceptual artist Allen Ruppersberg (b. 1944), the artist’s first comprehensive US survey in over 30 years. Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968-2018 is an opportunity to experience the artist’s work with unprecedented breadth and depth. Many of the works included, from private and public collections in Europe and elsewhere, have never before been exhibited in US museums. Organized by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, where it premiered in March 2018, the exhibition will be on view at the Hammer Museum from February 10–May 12, 2019.

Born in Cleveland, Ruppersberg moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1960s with the goal of becoming an illustrator, but soon became active in an emerging scene led by artists such as John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, William Leavitt, and others exploring the interface of language and image filtered through the lens of mass culture. His early projects—including environments made with found objects; wry, narrative photo works; and a novel copied by hand—began a career-long engagement with creating works that prompt an experience of both reading and looking, as they intertwine fact with fiction.

Ever since, Ruppersberg has actively worked between Los Angeles, New York, and Europe. Wide ranging in approach, his work is unified by his regular use of American vernacular culture—including books, posters, newspapers and magazines, records, old films, and other vintage items—which he deploys from his vast collections to use as ongoing source material. Featuring more than 120 works made over the past 50 years, the exhibition includes the artist’s photo works combining text and image, early assemblage sculptures, and his groundbreaking environments Al’s Cafe (1969) and Al’s Grand Hotel (1971), participatory projects that helped put Los Angeles on the map as a center for Conceptual art. The exhibition also includes a broad range of drawings and collages, and more recent, immersive installations featuring such materials as commercial advertising posters, large-scale photographs, films, and books.

The exhibition is accompanied by a major catalogue published by the Walker Art Center. Edited with text by Siri Engberg, Thomas Crow, Matthew S. Witkovsky, Aram Moshayedi, and Allen Ruppersberg.

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.