Allen Ruppersberg

Allen Ruppersberg

Born in 1944 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Lives and works in New York and Santa Monica, California, USA.

A productive figure in American conceptual art, Allen Ruppersberg participated in the emergence of the movement in Los Angeles at the end of the Sixties alongside artists like Allan McCollum, William Wegman, and Bas Jan Ader. With a taste for history, he was one of the first to embrace language as a means of expression in its own right. He never hesitated to madly hybridize sublime literary sources (Oscar Wilde, Voltaire, Thoreau, Allen Ginsberg) and vernacular pop culture (detective stories, magazines, illustrations, comic strips) along with autobiographical references, posters, and urban graffiti. The other peculiarity about this approach to the conceptual foundations is that it becomes richer every day with the practice of lifestyle, where places in the artist’s life become essential stages of his production. As the owner of  Al's Café, he serves still life dinners made from sand, cactus, chewing gum and singles, followed by  Al's Grand Hôtel, where he himself carries out the decoration of the bedrooms—a mad collector surrounded by  thousands of postcards, calendars, slides, documentary films, partitions, records, books, and magazines that he endlessly indexes and reorganises. Whether he is the hero of a storyboard which relates his disappearance or a travel agent guide in Munster, Allen Ruppersberg multiplies the comings and goings between his life and his works. Narratives emerge from these delightful strategies, hovering between fiction and reality in an art which escapes any systematisation.