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Barbara Kruger Hardcover – April 20, 2010
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"One of today's most celebrated artists, Barbara Kruger, who began as a graphic designer for Condé Nast and helped pioneer a genre that liberally employs typography and advertising techniques... Among other things, Kruger is a masterly usurper and lampooner of manipulative advertising codes. And the current book, which spans 30 years, shows just how smartly she has appropriated design and typography in many formats and media." ~New York Times Book Review
"Words are Barbara Kruger's weapons and she wields them masterfully..." ~Nylon
"This comprehensive volume, beautifully designed in close collaboration with the artist herself, explores her output over the past 30 years including many previously unpublished pieces." ~Fest21.com
"Another great book due out soon from Rizzoli New York has just arrived here, a monograph entitled Barbara Kruger, which documents the thought-provoking, Futura Bold Oblique-driven work of the world famous contemporary artist." ~Typo-Graphical
About the Author
Barbara Kruger has been active in the fields of video and audio installation, photography, sculpture, architecture, and graphic design, as well as in critical writing and curatorial work. She has had numerous solo and group shows and is currently Professor of Art in the Department of Art at UCLA. Alex Alberro is Virginia Bloedel Wright Associate Professor of Art History at Barnard College. Hal Foster is Townsend Martin ‘17 Professor of Art & Archaeology and Department Chair at Princeton University. Martha Gever is a cultural critic and former editor of The Independent Film and Video Monthly. Miwon Kwon is Professor of Art History at UCLA. Carol Squiers is Curator at the International Center of Photography, New York.
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We first came across the wide body of work from Ms. Kruger at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in late-1999. Surveillance is your busywork. For those not familiar, Kruger's work is generally large, bold, stark and filled with oft-times puzzling or controversial messages designed, despite her many urban installations to do anything but blend in to the scenery. In violence we forget who we are.
Why are you here? What do you want? In this new Rizzoli monograph (in similar format to the hardbound catalog of the 1999-2000 shows, `Thinking of You') Kruger's vast work is once again showcased in a way that questions life's banalities, creates and juxtaposes meaning and provides connectivity to her often explosive and divergent body of work. Your Body Is A Battleground. Kruger, an acknowledged feminist and social commentator, explores themes of body and mind, social politics and consumerism in artwork ranging from four-wall installations to billboards to posters to bus ads, all pumping out messages to the masses like some communist manifestos in black and white and red. What are you looking at?
As the artist herself says, "In my work, I try to question the seemingly natural appearance of images through the textural commentary that accompanies them." And textural it is. Similar in nature to the wordplay juxtapositional work of Ed Ruscha, Kruger's installations have been placed and commissioned the world over. Her bright colored billboards and wall murals adorn spaces from European subway stations to her more recent video installations (like her work `Twelve') to a gigantic outdoor landscape installation at the North Carolina Museum of Art and even New York's famed Lever House. Picture This.
Through it all, between her messaging and her medium, Kruger makes it her raison d'tre to not be ignored. Between her magnificent work and the essays included herein, this collection leaves little doubt that that would be virtually impossible. Don't be a jerk.