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.
18 hours 26 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago #TBT 1983: The museum held an exhibition for the collection of Jalane and Richard Davidson, Chicago collectors of contemporary American realist drawings. Acknowledged at the time for collecting against prevailing art world trends, they amassed a comprehensive collection of work spanning the careers of both well-known artists—like Jack Beal, pictured here with Jalane herself and a portrait he made of her—and lesser-known Midwestern artists. The entire Davidson collection was bequeathed to the museum and saw another exhibition devoted to it in 1999.
22 hours 55 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Who's ready to experience A Lot of Sorrow? The National aren't playing Lollapalooza this year, but festival–goers can still see the band perform their ballad “Sorrow” on repeat for six hours, in an intensely durational film by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson.
Now on view in the Modern Wing
1 day 14 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Support the many fine programs of the museum and discover an interesting array of home décor, jewelry, art reproductions, and more in the Museum Shop’s Gift Catalog.
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