Attending art school in Los Angeles in the late 1960s, Ruppersberg befriended William Wegman, Allan McCollum, Bas Jan Ader, and other artists experimenting with conceptual approaches. At this time his interest in the interplay between image and text took shape, along with a desire to explore the rift between so–called high and low culture. Ruppersberg frequently lifts motifs from movies, television, and advertising, among other sources from contemporary life. "I think the copy is the truth too," he has explained.
For Preview Ruppersberg mined the vernacular language and flashy visuals of the cheap advertisement posters ubiquitous in the Los Angeles street scene, a milieu that has fascinated him. With the manners of a carnival barker, this series of ten prints—two of which are illustrated here—blares out dull platitudes and philosophical assertions. "Good Luck!," "Adults Only Please," and "Everything is Over," among other phrases, are spelled out in standard block type over a background of garish rainbow hues. By uniformly formatting his statements—no matter how trite or weighty the adage—Ruppersberg has treated each text equally. Whether colloquial or cultured, the phrases strike an equivalent tone, perhaps hinting at the artist’s avowed desire to create "a more democratic kind of art object."
Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 68.