February 5, 2009
December 17, 2008
Barbara Kruger. (American, born 1945). Rage + Women = Power, cover for Ms. magazine. January/February 1992. Photolithograph, composition and sheet: 10 3/4 x 8 3/8″ (27.4 x 21.3 cm). Publisher and printer: Lang Communications, New York. Edition: mass produced. Purchase. © 2008 Barbara Kruger
Not on view
Deborah Wye, Artists and Prints: Masterworks from The Museum of Modern Art, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004, p. 244
Between the late 1970s and the early 1980s, Barbara Kruger, working as a graphic designer for popular magazines, gained recognition in the art world for photo-based images overlaid with blocks of text in a signature color scheme of black, white, and red. Her practice of culling and editing found photographs and of pairing them with phrases in provocative ways was informed by her interest in feminism and critical theory. These investigations into the seemingly innocuous and yet potentially insidious ways in which ideological messages infiltrate daily life by means of the mass media continue today, although she has more recently expanded her repertoire to include installations with video and audio components and oversized sculptures.
The techniques of photolithography and screenprint are ideally suited to Kruger’s strategies of appropriation and replication of imagery from mass culture, and they are used throughout her work, whether large-scale and unique, or ephemeral and printed in thousands of copies. Her ephemeral works, which dramatically fulfill the democratic potential of printmaking to bring art to wide audiences, range from book, magazine, and compact disc covers to matchbooks, coffee mugs, and shopping bags. It is noteworthy that visual strategies she appropriated from the mass media have been returned to their sources on covers she created for such magazines as Newsweek and Esquire. In addition, countless graphic designers have adopted her visual style.
A rare example of her venturing into the area of the traditional limited edition is her illustrated book My Pretty Pony by Stephen King, part of an innovative project pairing artists and writers, established at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Unsurprisingly, the book is also available in a trade edition version for greater accessibility.
October 13, 2008
July 28, 2008
A group of artist protesters calling themselves “The
Infinity Lab” were arrested Thursday after witnesses
reported acts of vandalism on the new Barbara Kruger
Installation commissioned by University of California
San Diego’s Stuart Collection.
The protesters chanted, “Another formulaic Kruger”,
as one of them allegedly urinated on the
installation’s floor text. Campus police arrested the
3 protesters as they continued to mock the
Thursday’s protest may have inspired another
disturbing act of vandalism this time reported at Los
Angeles County Museum of Art on Friday. Apparently, a
protester threw bags of fecal matter at Kruger’s mural
in the Eli Broad Collection.
Due to the two acts, there is elevated security
around all of Barbara Kruger’s public artworks. So
far, Kruger has not been available for comment.
July 24, 2008
November 13, 2007
October 28, 2007
October 20, 2007
October 16, 2007
October 9, 2007
September 24, 2007
September 13, 2007
September 6, 2007
August 20, 2007
August 17, 2007
August 6, 2007
July 26, 2007
July 20, 2007
July 18, 2007
July 9, 2007
July 8, 2007
July 5, 2007
July 4, 2007
July 3, 2007
June 22, 2007
This advertisement on the side of a bus appropriates the look and feel of the American political artist Barbara Kruger – without the acerbic social critique that her work is so well known for. To make it worse (borrowing the look without the meaning …) this advertisement seems to subscribe to or endorse the kind of thing that has often been the target of Kruger’s efforts – gender stereotypes and consumerism. Commissioned by Rogers Communications 2003.