Barbara Kruger: pasting slogans  Facebook 

November 23rd, 2009  |  Published in Culture, Segnalazioni by Giovanni Biglino

bkr_14102_moneycanbuyyoulove_lowHer work has become symbolic of a media-driven society since the 1980s. With a retrospective of her early small-scale pieces, Barbara Kruger lands to London and her “paste ups” – and so is titled the exhibition – are currently on show at the London branch of the Sprüth Magers Gallery.

Summing together technique and imagery from the Futurists, the Dada and the Pop movement, Kruger has created a bold and effective body of work that combines black and white photography (rarely colour) with resonant, advert-like slogans. Images such as the pin puncturing a finger with the writing “Thinking of you” or the motto “I shop therefore I am”. Kruger’s experience as a magazine editorial designer is evident both in the choice of subjects and in the approach to the image and the typographic element. The result is a direct message to the viewer (the consumer) who is often entranced by the contrast between the words-layer and the image-layer in the paste up. However, the “advertisement” aspect is kept separated from the art work by the artist herself: “Although my art work was heavily informed by my design work on a formal and visual level, as regards meaning and content the two practices parted ways”.

Barbara Kruger, born in Newark in 1945, studied with Diane Arbus at the prestigious Parson’s School of Design in New York. From her first 1980 solo show at PS1 in New York, to the Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the 2005 Venice Biennale, her work has been consistently exhibited over the past thirty years: the Moderna Museet in Stockholm and the Palazzo delle Papesse in Siena, the Tate in London and the Whitney in New York, and numerous solo shows, especially with the influent Mary Boone Gallery. Her work has remained direct and sharp, analysing the way in which we relate with language and the stimulation  of the viewer’s (consumer’s) mind through bold imagery.

Barbara Kruger, Paste up, Sprüth Magers Gallery London, until 23 January 2010
Image credits: Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Money can buy you love), 1985, Courtesy of the artist and Sprüth Magers London

Related posts:

  1. Workshop Missoni: daring to be different
  2. UBS openings: do it yourself
  3. Outsider art

Leave a comment.

Last comment

Articles per month