Barbara Kruger

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Barbara Kruger in ARTFORUM

Barbara Kruger in ARTFORUM

February 2017

Review by Bibiana Obler Facing the Nation: Bibiana Obler on Barbara Kruger in Washington in ARTFORUM.

There was something uncanny about the timing of “Barbara Kruger,” which opened at the National Gallery of Art this past September. While ostensibly scheduled to reinaugurate the museum’s series of monographic In the Tower exhibitions on the occasion of the reopening of its newly renovated East Building, the show also spanned the final stretch of the 2016 presidential campaign, the election, and the inauguration. Not that the choice was overtly controversial: Kruger’s searing critiques of the Reagan era are by now so canonical that they have even been absorbed into the AP Art History curriculum. Yet, as installed in the heart of our capital this past fall, Kruger’s strategic juxtapositions of image and text appeared urgently relevant. Indeed, several of the most prominent works could almost have been conceived as campaign posters for the election...

Robert Barry, Barbara Kruger at Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation

Robert Barry, Barbara Kruger at Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation

30 November 2016 to 12 March 2017

Included in group exhibition Toda Percepcion es una Interpretacion: YOU ARE PART OF IT at Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, Florida.

The exhibition Toda percepción es una interpretación: You are part of it is a retrospective look from the viewpoint of contemporary issues of art, culture, politics and economics. It seeks to reflect on the successive reconfigurations of the art map in the last few decades, on the displacements and relocations of its primary centers, from Paris to New York, from Venice to São Paulo, from Basel to Miami. It speaks of areas that have succeeded in alternating centripetal or centrifugal forces, where art has relocated its meeting points and its observation points. We also pay attention to the effects of redrawing the financial or political map, with the repercussion it has on how one makes and proceeds in art...

Barbara Kruger Election Issue Cover of New York Magazine

Barbara Kruger Election Issue Cover of New York Magazine

30 October 2016

On the Cover: Donald Trump by Barbara Kruger for the Election Issue of New York Magazine.

For the cover of New York’s Election Issue, we turned to the artist Barbara Kruger, who had created such a memorable cover for the magazine the week of Eliot Spitzer’s resignation. She came back with this image. Editor-in-chief Adam Moss says that he and the editors “were drawn to it, in part, for the three ways in which it could be interpreted: as Trump speaking (single word epithets being his specialty); as a description of Trump; and as a call on the election result. On this latter point, who knows — and we confess to being a little rattled when the Comey letter news broke just as we were shipping it. But in the end we felt that the power of Kruger’s image transcended any one meaning you could read into it. The issue analyzes many aspects of Trump’s extraordinary candidacy, and an important point is spelled out in the headline we appended to the bottom corner: Trump has already changed America, not much for the better. Which adds a fourth meaning: in that sense we are all losers too.

Barbara Kruger in Dazeddigital.com

Barbara Kruger in Dazeddigital.com

7 October 2016

Article by Emma Hope Allwood Barbara Kruger: Back to the Futura on Dazeddigital.com.

Barbara Kruger’s art hits you like a punch to the jaw. You’ve seen her work, even if you’ve never been to one of her shows – photography overlaid with coloured boxes filled with bold white Futura Oblique, or caps locked sans serif text that bears down at you from gallery walls and the sides and roofs of buildings. It’s not hard to miss, and that’s why it’s brilliant: it’s both direct and democratic, stealing the visual identity of advertising and fear-mongering tabloids to spread messages that question systems of power, that challenge corruption, sexism and consumerism. “I shop therefore I am”. “Money can buy you love”. “Your body is a battleground”...

Barbara Kruger at the National Gallery of Art

Barbara Kruger at the National Gallery of Art

30 September 2016 to 30 January 2017

Solo exhibition In the Tower: Barbara Kruger at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

A focused exhibition featuring the work of American artist Barbara Kruger (b. 1945) reopens the East Building Tower Gallery after nearly three years of renovation to the space. Inspired by the Gallery's recent acquisition of Kruger's Untitled (Know nothing, Believe anything, Forget everything) (1987/2014), the exhibition comprises related images of faces and figures in profile over which Kruger has superimposed her striking phrases and figures of speech. The distinctive direct address of Kruger's texts (using active verbs and personal pronouns) confronts viewers straight on, contrasting with her selected images of side-glancing figures, receiving and averting the audience’s gaze. The results are arresting conceptual works of visual power and wit.

Jacob Hashimoto, Barbara Kruger at Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Jacob Hashimoto, Barbara Kruger at Rhona Hoffman Gallery

16 September to 22 October 2016

Included in group exhibition 40 Years/Part 1 at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, Illinois.

“40 Years: Part 1” features significant Minimal and Conceptual works like Incomplete Open Cube by Sol LeWitt; a Fred Sandback yarn sculpture; Measurement: Wall (1969) by Mel Bochner; a conceptual ruler drawing and a painting by Sylvia Plimack Mangold; Dan Flavin’s neon light piece; Wolfgang Laib’s Rice House, and two 1960s prints by Donald Judd. Works by Portuguese artist Pedro Cabrita Reis, whom Hoffman first exhibited in the United States, and Barbara Kruger, who executed her first floor text piece in the gallery, are a testament to Rhona Hoffman’s commitment to pushing the boundaries with new ideas. Spencer Finch’s light work Goldberg Variations, new paintings by Art & Language, Michael Rakowitz’s What Dust Will Rise project from Documenta, a hanging sculpture by Richard Rezac, and other recent works buttress the exhibition’s historical pieces...

Barbara Kruger at Museum Angewandte Kunst

Barbara Kruger at Museum Angewandte Kunst

10 September 2016 to 26 March 2017

Included in group exhibition Under Arms: Fire & Forget 2 at Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany.

Whether they are carried – legally or illegally – as a means of maintaining the public order, for the individual or collective application of force, for personal safety or as sports or work equipment, weapons and the threat they pose are always bound up with social structures. They are among us – whether we see them or not, whether they arouse fear or pleasure or both at the same time.

In an exhibition architecture that exaggerates the formal language of fairs for the museum context, the show will present objects from design, the media and art that seek to exploit the emotions associated with weapons for their own aims.

Under Arms: Fire & Forget 2 is an expansion and new conception of the show Fire & Forget: On Violence, curated by E. Blumenstein and D. Tyradellis for the KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin...

Barbara Kruger at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Barbara Kruger at the Museum of Contemporary Art

16 July to 4 December 2016

Included in group exhibition The Making of a Fugative at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois.

In September 1970, Life magazine’s cover featured a photograph of recently arrested scholar and activist Angela Davis superimposed with the words “The Making of a Fugitive.” The exhibition, which takes its name from the iconic publication, presents works that not only reflect on the fugitive figure in American popular culture, but also interrogate how narratives constructed by the media influence our understandings of lawlessness and otherness and directly inform our views on innocence, safety, and normalcy. The artists have combined text and images, self-fashioned themselves as “wanted” bodies, and questioned our ability to accurately interpret visual evidence shaped by multiple social pressures and conditions.

The Making of a Fugitive showcases mixed media, prints, photographs, and sculptures made by artists working from the 1970s to the present and highlights conceptual artworks in the MCA’s collection. Featured artists include Dennis Adams, Chris Burden, David Hammons, R. B. Kitaj, Barbara Kruger, Glenn Ligon, Bruce Nauman, Huong Ngo, Carrie Schneider, and Xaviera Simmons. Whether the works conjure memories of iconic fugitives, such as Patty Hearst and Angela Davis, or incorporate loaded words, like safety and fear, viewers are prompted to question their assumptions about criminality and contemplate how the circulation of images influences their ideas...

Barbara Kruger at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Barbara Kruger at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

7 July to 9 September 2016

Included in group exhibition Co-Thinkers at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow.

Co–thinkers is the first in a series of projects at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art that seeks to expand the notion of inclusion in an art institution.

It is also an exhibition of major works by world-famous contemporary artists rarely exhibited in Russia. Artists include Cecily Brown, Maurizio Cattelan, Antony Gormley, Barbara Kruger, John Miller, Melvin Moti, Rob Pruitt, Neo Rauch, Robert Rauschenberg, Jason Rhoades, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Saville, Cindy Sherman, Elaine Sturtevant, Rosemarie Trockel, and James Turrell. The works selected create a perception shift in the viewer’s imagination, stimulating reactions ranging from uncertainty, hesitation, and critique to admiration, irony, and meditation...

Barbara Kruger at Sprüth Magers

Barbara Kruger at Sprüth Magers

28 June to 20 August 2016

Included in group exhibition Eau de Cologne at Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles, California.

The group show Eau de Cologne at Sprüth Magers in Los Angeles features work from the late-1970s to 2016 by Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman and Rosemarie Trockel. The exhibition at Sprüth Magers’ recently-opened Los Angeles gallery is a follow-up to its predecessor in Berlin last year. It sheds light on key topics in these artists’ works, but also the specific history of the gallery and its connection to these important female figures of an art that subtly addresses women’s roles in very different ways...

Barbara Kruger in Artforum

Barbara Kruger in Artforum

Summer 2016

Gatefold cover for Artforum issue on Art and Identity, Summer 2016.

Barbara Kruger at The High Line

Barbara Kruger at The High Line

21 March 2016 to March 2017

Outdoor mural installation Untitled (Blind idealism is…) for High Line Art, adjacent to The High Line, NYC, NY.

For the High Line, Kruger presents Untitled (Blind Idealism Is…), a new work realized as a hand-painted mural. Continuing her unabashed criticism of culture and power, the mural features the slogan “BLIND IDEALISM IS REACTIONARY SCARY DEADLY,” an adaptation of a quote from Afro-Caribbean philosopher and revolutionary thinker Frantz Fanon, which has appeared in multiple works by the artist. The original statement by Fanon, “Blind idealism is reactionary,” suggests that political and religious convictions stem from the situations from which they grow, not from the inherent nature of individual human beings. According to Kruger, the work reflects “how we are to one another” within “the days and nights that construct us.” These texts, along with Kruger’s own writings, resonate with particular potency in today’s political climate...

Barbara Kruger at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

Barbara Kruger at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

12 March to 11 July 2016

Included in group exhibition Don’t Look Back: The 1990s at MOCA at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, California.

Don’t Look Back: The 1990s at MOCA comprises works from MOCA’s permanent collection that identify the recent decade’s key concerns and transformations, including many that have not been on view since originally shown and acquired. If the 1980s were shaped by the advent of identity politics, producing significant works that examined the nexus of race, gender, and sexuality, the 1990s both extended and challenged these ideas. Many artists turned to large-scale installations as a way to convey a complicated interface between the public and the museum, or to articulate the realms of overlap and dissonance in individual and public identities...

Barbara Kruger at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Barbara Kruger at the Vancouver Art Gallery

20 February to 15 May 2016

Major site-specific installation for group exhibition MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada.

From the moment that Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque undertook the revolutionary gesture of adding a rectangle of floral wallpaper, a newspaper headline or a scrap of sheet music to their compositions, they initiated an immediate and fundamental shift in European art.

The resulting explosion of mashup strategies employed across media and movements offers the clearest evidence of the relevance of this process to the growth of visual culture during the 20th century. From Marcel Duchamp to Jean-Luc Godard, Liz Magor to Isa Genzken, artists of diverse disciplines have adopted and reworked this creative strategy. Taking over all four floors of the Vancouver Art Gallery, this groundbreaking exhibition will offer an international survey of mashup culture, documenting the emergence and evolution of a mode of creativity that has grown to become the dominant form of cultural production in the early 21st century.

Barbara Kruger at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Barbara Kruger at the Whitney Museum of American Art

1 May to 27 September 2015

Included in the inaugural group exhibition America Is Hard To See at the new building of the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, NY.

Drawn entirely from the Whitney Museum of American Art’s collection, America Is Hard to See takes the inauguration of the Museum’s new building as an opportunity to reexamine the history of art in the United States from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Comprising more than six hundred works, the exhibition elaborates the themes, ideas, beliefs, and passions that have galvanized American artists in their struggle to work within and against established conventions, often directly engaging their political and social contexts. Numerous pieces that have rarely, if ever, been shown appear alongside beloved icons in a conscious effort to unsettle assumptions about the American art canon...