Artist: Allen Ruppersberg
Venue: Marc Selwyn, Beverly Hills
Exhibition Title: Drawing and Writing: 1972 – 1989
Date: March 22 – May 17, 2014
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Marc Selwyn, Beverly Hills
Marc Selwyn Fine Art is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition with Allen Ruppersberg: Drawing and Writing: 1972 – 1989. This exhibition, the first one person show in our new location, brings together a group of early drawings in which the artist’s hand drawn illustrative style functions as a conceptual device. Exotic women, cartoon characters, post card images and other mass produced Americana are carefully executed by hand and become ironic forms of post modern appropriation. As Leslie Jones writes:
“These postcards are pieces of Americana, but the small town America they represent is disappearing. For that reason alone, they are equally as strange and distant as they are familiar…the rendering of the mass-‐‑produced image as a drawing defamiliarizes it from its original and very ordinary context, making it strange, making it art.”
The use of literature as a conceptual theme is also central to this group of works. Hand drawn images of books, letters and text itself recur throughout the show. Art and literature, reading and looking, drawing and writing become one. As Leslie Jones continues:
“…ʼ’drawing with Alʼ’ involves writing, ʻ‘reading with Alʼ’ involves looking, and ʻ‘writing with Alʼ’ involves drawing and reading. These interdisciplinary shifts are at the crux of Ruppersbergʼ’s art, made possible by his choice of drawing as a medium which, like his practice, shifts seamlessly between writing and rendering, between linguistic and pictorial depiction. Be the content literary or banal, Shakespeare or dime-‐‑store postcard, Ruppersbergʼ’s artistic approach remains the same. Illustration – drawingʼ’s spurious sibling – is the common denominator that provides the means for the artist to level the conceptual art playing field by making idea-‐‑based work in populist terms. In his quest to ʻ‘pass illustrations off as artʼ’ Ruppersberg has also expanded the terms of drawing for the post-‐‑postmodern generation of artists for whom conceptualism and irony do not preclude ambiguity or sincerity of intent.”
A catalogue to accompany the exhibition has been published by Christine Burgin and will be available in June from ARTBOOK | D.A.P.
Allen Ruppersberg (b. 1944) graduated from Chouinard Institute, Los Angeles, in 1967. He is a first generation California conceptual artist and had meaningful relationships with John Baldessari, Allan McCollum, William Leavitt and many other conceptualists.
A retrospective of his work, One of Many – Origins and Variants, was shown at the Dusseldorf Kunsthalle, Germany (2005), and traveled to the Institut dʼ’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne, France (2007), the Dundee Contemporary Arts, Scotland (2006), and the Centro Adnaluz de Art Contemporaneo, Seville, Spain (2006). Ruppersbergʼ’s first retrospective, The Secret of Life and Death, was shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in 1985. No Time Left to Start Again and Again will open May 16, 2014 at Wiels Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels, following an appearance at the Art Institute of Chicago. Ruppersberg has been the subject of over 60 solo shows and included in numerous group shows such as Under the Big Black Sun at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles during the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time: Art in Los Angeles 1945-‐‑1980. His work is in the collection of public institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Cleveland Art Museum, Le Fonds Ronal dʼ’Art Contemporain, France, among many others. Ruppersberg lives and works in Los Angeles and New York.