Allen Ruppersberg "Allen Ruppersberg"

Allen Ruppersberg "Allen Ruppersberg"

de Appel, Prinseneiland 7, Amsterdam
'There was more than one reason to show the work of Allen Ruppersberg. Besides the revival of interest in conceptual art, which was primarily an art-historical motive, Ruppersberg's work formed an important bridge between the cultures of Europe and of the United States. Ruppersberg developed his approach to work in Los Angeles in the same environment as Ruscha and Baldessari. Previously to Ruppersberg’s exhibition in De Appel, an exhibition in America presented work by kindred spirits from that early period, among them Ger van Elk. Artist Allen Ruppersberg is a passionate reader, a collector of books, a copyist and author. He has 'transcribed' books such as Thoreau's Walden and The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. If you look into Ruppersberg's literary sources you are likely to encounter Edgar Allen Poe, Raymond Roussel and Tristan Tzara: names which also turn up in European art, with Broodthaers and Paolini. But Ruppersberg is less formal, and can be just as interested in a cheap paperback or a comic-strip as in great literature. He sides with the banal, with the wor1d of supermarket advertising, whose slogans he pursues to the point of absurdity. Walls full of desperate cries such as 'Why do we fail?' and 'Where should I go?', printed on garish posters, are supplemented by the shadows of Grace Jones and Dennis the Menace. For Ruppersberg, 'low' (culture) is a precondition for 'high' (culture), and vice versa. Through their mass-produced, disposable, replaceable character, Ruppersberg's text-covered cardboard boxes, flagstones and photo series become echoes of consumerism. Yet in his series of meticulously copied manuscripts, which he made long before the concept of 'appropriation' made its appearance in the visual arts, he seems to regard the crafted, time consuming working process as the only way of getting to the heart of the work he is reproducing. The second line of the poem which prefaces Dorian Gray reads: 'To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim.' Anonymity can be a strategy in an ego-centric culture.' (Invitation text by Saskia Bos) Catalogue: Allen Ruppersberg, 1991. Text: Dirk ‘The Nighthawk’ van Weelden. In Dutch & English. Bio- & bibliography included. 88 Pages: 24 f.c., 11.5 x 17.5 cm. Softcover. Design: Irma Boom. ISBN 90 73501 12 1. SOLD OUT
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