Barbara Kruger: Being An Artist

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  • Topic: Art museum, Barbara Kruger, Contemporary art
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  • Published : February 11, 2008
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Barbara Kruger

Barbara Kruger was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1945. She studied at

Syracuse University, Parsons School of Design, and the School of Visual Arts in

New York and has exhibited all over the world.

She has worked from having a design job at "Mademoiselle Magazine", soon

becoming the head designer. Later working as a graphic designer, art director,

and picture editor in the art departments at "House and Garden", "Aperture"

and other publications. This greatly influenced her work as an artist.

Barbara Kruger has a very unique style when it comes to her artwork, her

background in design is the reason she is so well known. Her artwork comes off

very moving and strong but also very simple. She achieves this look by mainly

using the colours red, black and white, while adding and manipulating images

and words to promote strong emotions dealing with crisis, disasters, and people.

Her main topics she chooses to express threw her art is supporting legal

abortion and fighting domestic violence, also women's supporting role in


To describe the true intent of Barbara Kruger's art a women named Juliana Engberg said it perfectly "Barbara Kruger's on going project is to provoke questions about power and its effect on the human condition: to investigate the way power is constructed, used and abused. In her works, which have become the demonstrative visual icons of the 1980s and 1990s, power is interrogated and interpreted through the social, economic and political arrangements which motor the life impulses of love, hate, sex and death."

To achieve this look Barbara makes a strong background full of photographs

from already existing products such as magazines, articles, postcards,

billboards etc. and organizes them sometimes copying the image over and over

again, duplicating, mixing with other images or using just the one. Then she

adds very expressive and aggressive text. She adds this text to try and involve

her viewers in the struggle for power and control. She makes this text pop out by

making them big and black (sometimes white) with a slash of red for the

background. Some examples of quotations she uses are "I shop therefore I am"

and "Your body is a battleground". Most of here texts also consist of feminism

and classicism.

Barbara's pieces of art consist of photographic silkscreen/vinyl. Some of her

pieces of art range in size from an average poster to scaling the walls of giant

buildings. Some examples of sizes are 82" x 123" or 109" x 109".

You can find her artwork almost everywhere, for example on billboards around

the world, magazines, t-shirts, shopping bags, matchboxes, and television.

Places Barbara Kruger has had solo exhibitions are:

·The Museum Of Contemporary Art (1999)(Los Angeles)

·Mary Boone Gallery (1987,1989,1991,1994)(New York)

·Centre National d'Art Contemporian (1992)(Grenoble, France)

·Kolnischer Kunstverein (1990)(Koln, West Germany)

·Rhona Hoffman Gallery (1986, 1990)(Chicago)

·Monika Spruth Galerie (1987, 1990)(Koln, West Germany)

·Duke University Museum of Art (1990)(Durham, North Carolina)

·Fred Hoffman Gallery (1989)(Santa Monica, California)

·Galerie Bebert (1989)(Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

·National Art Gallery (1988)(Wellington, New Zealand)

·Krannert Art Museum (1986)(University of Illinois, Champaign)

·Hillman/Holland Gallery (1986)(Atlanta, Georgia)

·Annina Nosei Gallery (1983, 1984, 1986)(New York)

·Contemporary Arts Museum (1985)(Houston, Texas)

·Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1985)

Places Barbara Kruger has had group exhibitions are:

·"Is It Art?" (1996)(Katonah, New York)

·Thinking Print: Books to Billboards (1980-1995)

·The Museum of Modern Art (1996)(New York)

·"Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago's "Dinner Party" in Feminist Art History", Armand Hammer Museum of Art and...
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