Allen Ruppersberg. The Picture of Dorian Gray. 1974

Allen Ruppersberg The Picture of Dorian Gray 1974

  • Not on view

Ruppersberg's work frequently refers to movies, television, advertising, and literature. "I think the copy is the truth too," he has explained. Here, he has transcribed Oscar Wilde's 1890 novel The Picture of Dorian Gray on twenty panels, the individual canvases evoking pages of a book. "The original premise was to conflate two forms of 'reading' and 'writing.' One involves narrative, and the other is a form of 'visual' art that is read instantly. Its presence is read all at once." Wilde's story itself ruminates on fine art, with the protagonist of the novel becoming a mysterious portrait with a metaphorical life of its own. The meticulous copying of Wilde's text speaks to Ruppersberg's appreciation for the novel while translating the written word into a work "for an audience outside the book."

Gallery label from Sites of Reason: A Selection of Recent Acquisitions, June 11–September 28, 2014.
Marker on canvas, 20 parts
Each panel 72 x 72" (182.9 x 182.9 cm)
Partial gift of Stuart and Judy Spence and purchased with funds provided by Edward Joseph Gallagher 3rd Memorial Fund and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Robins, Jr. (both by exchange)
Object number
© 2023 Allen Ruppersberg
Painting and Sculpture

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