Walker Art Center

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Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968–2018

This major retrospective presents the work of Allen Ruppersberg (American, b. 1944), who has not been the subject of a comprehensive US survey for more than 30 years. One of conceptual art’s most rigorous and inventive practitioners, Ruppersberg is among the first generation of artists to espouse a method of working that privileges ideas and process over traditional aesthetic objects. Wide ranging in media and approach, his projects have consistently had at their center a focus on the American vernacular—its books, music, popular images, and ephemera—mining the nuances of our culture through its visual details, unsung conventions, and modes of the everyday. From his earliest projects, 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.

The exhibition offers an opportunity to experience Ruppersberg’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. Featured works include early installations such as Al’s Cafe and Al’s Grand Hotel, the artist’s groundbreaking participatory projects of the late 1960s; his seminal photo-based narratives combining text and image; and a progression of more recent installations containing his commercial letterpress posters, drawings, and films. The show will also include a broad selection of drawings and a complete presentation of his artist’s books. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

In conjunction with the exhibition, You & Me (2013)—a public artwork by Ruppersberg first shown on a billboard next to New York’s High Line—will be featured in the Target Project Space, a temporary exhibition space adjacent to the Walker’s restaurant Esker Grove.

Curator: Siri Engberg


Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968–2018 is organized by the Walker Art Center. Lead support for the exhibition is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.