West by Midwest

Allen Ruppersberg




Allen Ruppersberg is born in Cleveland.




Allen Ruppersberg enrolls in Chouinard Art Institute. Robert Irwin and Emerson Woelffler are some of his professors.


Terry Allen and Allen Ruppersberg meet on the first day of school at Chouinard.


Terry Allen, Allen Ruppersberg, and a group of friends from Chouinard cofound Gallery 66, a cooperative gallery in Los Angeles that operates for one year.


Allen Ruppersberg graduates from Chouinard with a BFA.


Allen Ruppersberg participates in his first group exhibition, New Directions, at the Westside Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles. The show also includes Bruce Nauman and Ed Ruscha.


Allen Ruppersberg meets William Wegman in Los Angeles.


Terry Allen’s wife, Jo Harvey Allen, is one of the waitresses at Allen Ruppersberg’s project Al’s Cafe.


Terry Allen sells his first record, Going to California, as a “side dish” at Al’s Cafe.



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Allen Ruppersberg proposes Al’s Grand Hotel for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s exhibition 24 Young Los Angeles Artists, which also includes Vija Celmins, Robert Cumming, and William Wegman.


Billy Al Bengston rents out Allen Ruppersberg’s Al’s Grand Hotel to throw a party.


Dennis Hopper visits Allen Ruppersberg’s installation Al’s Grand Hotel.


Allen Ruppersberg offers his LA studio as the location of Ed Ruscha’s first film, Premium, which stars artist Larry Bell.


Terry Allen records a live album at the opening night of Allen Ruppersberg’s Al’s Grand Hotel and spends the night in the “Al Room.”


Vija Celmins, Robert Cumming, Allen Ruppersberg, and William Wegman participate in 24 Young Los Angeles Artists at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).


A year after Al Ruppersberg’s Al’s Grand Hotel takes place, Lynn Hershman Leeson and Eleanor Coppola decide to transform two rooms in the Dante Hotel, a transient hotel in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. On Halloween 1973, Hershman Leeson places two life-size wax cast figures, one black and one white, under rumpled bed sheets, surrounded by her belongings. For nine months, visitors in the know are allowed to sign in at the front desk and view the installation for free. The installation ends when someone visits the room at 3 am, mistakes the wax figures for corpses, and calls the police, who collect all the objects and take them back to the station.



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Amanda Ross-Ho and Allen Ruppersberg collaborate on The Meaning of Plus and Minus, which is commissioned by the Orange County Museum of Art for the exhibition Two Schools of Cool.


Joe Goode, Stephen Kaltenbach, Mike Kelley, Tom Marioni, Bruce Nauman, Senga Nengudi, Allen Ruppersberg, and Ed Ruscha are included in the group exhibition Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974–1981 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.


Amanda Ross-Ho makes a small contribution to Allen Ruppersberg’s exhibition monograph Al Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968–2018 discussing their shared Midwestern roots.

Related tags

Billy Al Bengston Terry Allen Larry Bell Vija Celmins Robert Cumming Joe Goode Lynn Hershman Leeson Dennis Hopper Stephen Kaltenbach Mike Kelley Tom Marioni Bruce Nauman Senga Nengudi Amanda Ross-Ho Ed Ruscha William Wegman Art Institute of Chicago California Chouinard Cleveland LACMA Los Angeles Ohio San Francisco Al’s Cafe Al’s Grand Hotel