Allen Ruppersberg

  • Margo Leavin (1936–2021)

    IT IS A FORMIDABLE TASK to write of Margo Leavin in the past tense, as she was always a grand presence when she was still among us. Whether ensconced—along with her partner, Wendy Brandow—at the Margo Leavin Gallery at the end of Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood or moving in art circles around the world, she was always that same Margo we all knew. A rare figure who was feared and loved, courted and consulted, competitive and generous, she was not, whether friend or foe, one to be ignored.

    So I find it difficult to believe that I can’t call her to check in on things, as friends do, to make

  • Allen Ruppersberg

    JIMMY STEWART AND THE PICTURE POSTCARD are both gone. Stewart is, of course, preserved on celluloid in It’s a Wonderful Life, and the postcard persists in a sort of half-life, circulating around dusty tourist areas nobody goes to anymore. But both are still essentially dead.

    The postcard—that cheap, common image-object—came into existence around the turn of the century (there are said to have been seven hundred million sent in 1903 alone) and lasted another sixty-some years before it slowly began to disappear. Now those little pictures of everything you wanted to see are just another



    IF EVER THERE WERE AN ARTIST whose practice seemed premised on Jacques Rancière’s idea of the spectator who “makes his poem with the poem that is performed in front of him,” it is Allen Ruppersberg. So much of his work takes the act of transposition as its substance, as when, for example, cinema provides a model for sculpture or literature the subject for drawing. In this way, the artist himself can seem a distanced viewer who creates parallel narratives for the works before him, ruminating openly on educational movies of the past or on the writings of Raymond Roussel—putting on

  • The Best Exhibitions of 2005

    To take stock of the past year, Artforum contacted an international group of artists to find out which exhibitions were, in their eyes, the very best of 2005.


    “Edward Munch by Himself” (Royal Academy of Arts, London) This show gave me butterflies, screwed me up, and made me cry.


    John Baldessari, “A Different Kind of Order” (Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna) I rarely go to exhibitions these days. Perhaps I’m too jaded. But the Baldessari retrospective was something else. Focusing on his production from 1962–84, it was notable for its curatorial indifference to the marketplace—so