One of Many - Origins and Variants
The internationally renowned conceptual artist Allen Ruppersberg (born 1944 in Cleveland, Ohio) belongs to the first generation of American artists whose works engaged critically with the means and methods of mass media. Throughout his life's work, itself established as an oeuvre since the late 1960s, Allen Ruppersberg has developed a complex dialogue on the dialectics of high and low culture, public and private spaces and the relationship between art works, multiples and everyday objects. Together with his many-facetted work developed in Los Angeles and latterly also in New York and Europe, Allen Ruppersberg represents a fundamental, pioneering phenomenon in the transatlantic discourse on Conceptual Art.
Alongside the well-known Allen Ruppersberg works shown in Europe for the first time, this wide-ranging retrospective contains new and expanded installations and opens up unusual, highly personal insights into his private passion for collecting - a spectrum encompassing books, postcards, posters, commercials, newspaper cuttings and obituaries. These collected objects from the culture of every day life form the source material for Allen Ruppersberg's diverse works: installation, performance, multiple, painting, sculpture, drawing, printing photography, video and film. Every single artefact of his comprehensive archive (»One of Many«) undergoes the process of artistic adaptation and variation (»Origins and Variants«) in the sense of a displacement of context. Numerous copies of multiples are created without an actual »original«. As well as original individual pieces, which at the same time represent handmade copies of objects from everyday life.
Allen Ruppersberg devotes special attention to the themes of remembrance and memory in his artistic endeavours. The installation »The Singing Posters« (2003/2005), which comprises 600 posters and fills a whole wall, and the 220 sq metre floor mosaic »Letter to a Friend« (1997/2005) in the Kinosaal of the Kunsthalle have been dedicated to Allen Ginsberg and other deceased friends and artists. The multipart installation »These Fragments ...« originated for the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, unites multiples and originals from the years 1968 to 2003 and provides an overview of the early works such as »Al's Cafe« - an artists' café run by Allen Ruppesberg in Hollywood in 1969 - through to the present day. As examples of site-specific installations, the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf presents works from Arnhem, Utrecht, Münster and Basle.
Allen Ruppersberg's art works and collections form an archive of his personal life and his places of work: Brecksville/Ohio, Los Angeles, New York and several different locations in Europe. Private and public spheres coalesce into a sort of collective remembering and history. Everyday objects and long forgotten stories find their way back thus into public arena and, consonant with the desires of the artist, constitute »a democratic form of the art object« (Allen Ruppersberg).
The exhibition catalogue is published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne.
Press conference: Friday, 9th December 2005, 11 am
Opening: 10th December 2005, 7 pm
Opening hours: Tue - Sat noon - 7 pm, Sun & holidays 11am - 6 pm
Guided tours on demand
Parallel exhibition in the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen: TIME LINES
Subsequent exhibition venues:
Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee (Scotland), 8th April - 28th May 2006
Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville (Spain), 22nd June - September 2006
Sponsored by Sammlung Rheingold. The Kunsthalle Düsseldorf is funded by Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf