In The Studio: Allen Ruppersberg
El Segundo is the district of choice for the artist, in L.A since the 60’s
Opening at the Hammer Museum days before Frieze Los Angeles, ‘Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property, 1968-2018’ celebrates one of Los Angeles’ most pioneering artists. Born in Ohio, Ruppersberg came to L.A. in 1962 to study at what is now CalArts, and his early projects helped put the city on the map as a centre for conceptual art.
Al’s Café (1969) was a functioning diner in Downtown, which served rickety, one-off sculptures in place of food. For a few weeks in 1971, Al’s Grand Hotel offered accommodation to paying visitors in a two-story house on Sunset, which Ruppersberg had decked out with a ‘Bridal Suite’ and an ‘Ultra Violet Room’. The artist partly restaged the project for Frieze New York in 2014, with guests overnighting at the art fair.
Ruppersberg’s work has also taken the form of books, photo series, sculptures, drawings and film. What unites this dazzlingly varied body of work is a sly, sensitive intelligence, and his commitment to exploring American pop culture forms, regularly drawing on the artist’s personal trove of postcards, comics, posters and records. The first of its kind in 30 years, the Hammer exhibition is an opportunity to rifle through the riches of Ruppersberg’s achievements.