Since the start of his artistic career in Los Angeles in the late 1960s, Allen Ruppersberg has had a formative influence on at least three generations of artists. As a pioneer of Conceptual Art, he developed uses of narrative and appropriation that foretold waves of new work in the 1970s such as the works featured in the 1975 Dutch exhibition Narrative Art and the rise of appropriation art and the Pictures Generation circa 1977. Shuttling among Los Angeles, New York, and Amsterdam throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Ruppersberg came into contact with a variety of local art scenes, becoming an “artist’s artist” with an important following in Europe. Over the last several years, Ruppersberg has become even more visible with his participation in the MoMA exhibition In and Out of Amsterdam (2009), the Frieze and Basel art fairs, and most recently Light Years: Conceptual Art and the Photograph, 1964–1977at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Ruppersberg’s latest piece, No Time Left to Start Again/The B and D of R ’n’ R, is a sweeping survey of American vernacular recorded music from blues singers of the early 1900s through guitarists of the 1960s. Ruppersberg has compiled a history of folk, gospel, blues, and rock by scanning and laminating three kinds of source material: covers for vinyl records, amateur snapshots taken at music events, and obituaries for musicians. Thousands of these photocopies will be hung on brightly colored pegboard and stacked in specially made boxes arranged on the floor for the various sections of the show, which deal with music in the home, church, sock hop, and elsewhere. The colorful design of the pegboard and boxes, a look that Ruppersberg has used with remarkable variety for many years, itself deliberately recalls posters for high school dances (the silkscreen printing is in fact done with a company that makes such posters). All of the several thousand photocopies, meanwhile, will be available for reading in binders at a station in the center of the exhibition, where visitors can also hear the approximately 1,400 popular songs that the artist has collected, some dating as far back as 1906. Ruppersberg's equally extensive collection of snapshots will also be projected in its entirety on a wall outside the exhibition gallery.
Allen Ruppersberg: No Time Left to Start Again/The B and D of R `n' R is generously supported by the David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation and the Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago.
14 hours 58 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago COMING SOON—Provoke: Photography in Japan between Protest and Performance, 1960–75
The short-lived Tokyo magazine Provoke is now recognized as a major achievement in world photography of the last 50 years. A major international traveling show, which has Chicago as its only North American venue, this exhibition is the first survey of postwar Japanese art to be organized at the Art Institute and draws heavily on the the museum’s collection—more than 60% of the over 200 items on display belong to the Art Institute.
OPENING JANUARY 28—http://bit.ly/2jMlnUx
18 hours 10 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—The Italian–born American artist Josef Stella revisited his native Italy in 1922, where he became fascinated by Renaissance painting. Drawing inspiration from Sandro Botticelli, Stella began to produce decorative, detailed, symbolic compositions, such as A Vision (seen here). Stella was enthralled by the tropical plants he observed at the Bronx Botanical Garden in New York, and he imagined an iconic woman growing out of the earth like the towering flowers on either side of her.
The French–born American artist Gaston Lachaise found his own iconic inspiration for the sculpture, Woman (Elevation), in Isabel Dutaud Nagle, whom he later married, telling her, “I want to create a miracle with it… as great as you.” This sculpture represents Lachaise’s first full-scale expression of the idealized female form that would come to dominate his art. Modernists like Lachaise believed preclassical art possessed a primitive vitality absent from later art forms.
See Josef Stella’s A Vision (1925/26) and Gaston Lachaise’s Woman (Elevation) (1912–15; cast 1927)—on view in Gallery 271.
1 day 14 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW OPEN—Rodney McMillian: a great society
Our latest exhibition in the Modern Wing represents the last decade of the artist’s work in video. Grappling with the complexities of class, race, and place in America, Rodney McMillian employs elements of performance, public speaking, oral history—and his interest in the science fiction genre—to expose the social and psychological consequences of economic inequality, endemic racism, and the failed promise of freedom and prosperity for all of its citizens. While McMillian's work engages the often stark realities of history and contemporary culture, it is motivated by the potential for alternative realities and future transformation.
See Rodney McMillian: a great society on view in the Modern Wing through March 26.