Explore the Era

Delve into the postwar Los Angeles art world in this online archive, which provides additional material related to the exhibitions on view at the Getty Center. Learn about hipsters and happenings, and the venues across the city where all the action took place through images from the archives and first-hand accounts with the artists.

Greetings from L.A.: A Novel

Greetings from L.A.: A Novel

Greetings from L.A.: A Novel, 1972, Allen Ruppersberg. Offset lithograph. Self-published book. 8 x 5 1/4 x 11/16 in. The Getty Research Institute, 90-B12310.c1. © Allen Ruppersberg

Beginning in the 1960s select Los Angeles artists began to mimic the look and feel of commercial marketing strategies by treating viewers as consumers. In this vein, Allen Ruppersberg produced a series of books that demonstrate an interest in the products of popular culture. One of these was Greetings from L.A., the subtitle for which declares it to be a novel.  A flip of its pages reveals only occasional bits of narrative, with the most of the pages left blank.  The back cover, meanwhile, features a parody of the exaggerated and breathy prose used to sell airport fiction and cheap thrillers.  The piece is striking for this contrast between its content, a high-culture exploration of text and spacing that nods to the French poet Stéphane Mallarmé, and its seeming appearance as low-culture pulp fiction.

Works of Art

  • Al's Grand Hotel

    Al's Grand Hotel catalog, 1971, Allen Ruppersberg. Offset lithograph. 9 x 6 x 1/16 in. The Getty Research Institute, 94-B15837. © Allen Ruppersberg

  • 24 Pieces

    24 Pieces, 1970, Allen Ruppersberg. Spiral-bound offset lithograph. Self-published book. 6 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. The Getty Research Institute, 89-B22093.c1. © Allen Ruppersberg

Explore the Archive

  • Video: L.A. artists and commercial culture

    Video: Discover how L.A. artists of the 1960s and 1970s appropriated commercial culture

  • Letter and brochure for Al's Grand Hotel

    Letter and brochure for Al's Grand Hotel, May 2, 1971, designed by Allen Ruppersberg. Offset lithograph brochure, typed letter (signed). © Allen Ruppersberg. The Getty Research Institute, Gift of Michael Asher, 2009.M.30.2