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Allen Ruppersberg (b. 1944)


The Secret of Life and Death: Allen Ruppersberg (1986)
Directed by Peter Kirby


Born in 1944 in Cleveland, Ohio, Allen Ruppersberg is one of the first generation of American Conceptual artists that changed the way art was thought about and made. His work includes paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures, installations, and books.

Ruppersberg graduated with a BFA from the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles (now California Institute of the Arts) in 1967. During his early years in Los Angeles, he began significant relationships with John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, William Wegman, and Allan McCollum. He participated in the groundbreaking 1969 exhibition When Attitudes Become Form, and is recognized as a seminal practitioner of installation art, having produced such influential works as Al's Cafe (1969), Al's Grand Hotel (1971) and The Novel that Writes Itself (1978). Since the late 1960s, his work has been the subject of over sixty solo exhibitions and nearly 200 group shows, and can be found in permanent collections of museums internationally, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Foundation de Appel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and Museum fr Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany, among many others. Career highlights include participation in the Whitney Biennials (1970, 1975, 1991), Documenta V (1972), Lyon Biennale (1997), and Sculpture Project Münster (1997). In 1985, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles organized a major exhibition of Ruppersberg's work, which subsequently traveled to the New Museum of Contemporary Art, in New York. Exhibitions include Frac Limousin, Limoges, France (1999); Institute of Visual Arts, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1998); and Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany (1997). Ruppersberg lives and works in New York, NY, and Los Angeles, California.