Barbara Kruger was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1945. After attending Syracuse University, the School of Visual Arts, and studying art and design with Diane Arbus at Parson’s School of Design in New York, Kruger obtained a design job at Condé Nast Publications. The strong background in graphic design and art direction in the most renamed american publishing houses is vital to understand her work that has made her internationally renowned, Barbara Kruger's work has found an integral place in the history of feminist, postmodern, and conceptual art.
Much of her work consists of black-and-white photographs overlaid with declarative captions—in white-on-red Futura Bold Oblique or Helvetica Ultra Condensed. The phrases in her works often include pronouns such as "you", "your", "I", "we", and "they", addressing cultural constructions of power, identity, and sexuality. She uses found photography andaggressive language to criticized stereotypes and slogans, and praises conflicts such as feminism, classicism, consumerism, and individual autonomy and desire. The combination of black and white images, with texts layered in red, creates sarcastic and claiming pieces that battle against many different conflicts.
She has exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, in the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; in Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, in the Serpentine Gallery in London. Also in Palazzo delle Papesse Centro Arte Contemporanea of Siena, in the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; and Moderna Museet in Stockholm. In 2009, Kruger was included in the seminal show "The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kruger has also participated in the Whitney Biennial (1983, 1985, and 1987) and Documenta 7 and 8 (1982 and 1987). She represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1982 and again participated in 2005, when she received the Leone d'Oro for lifetime achievement. As well as appearing in museums and galleries worldwide, Kruger’s work has appeared on billboards, buscards, posters, a public park, a train station platform in Strasbourg, France, and in other public commissions. She has taught at the California Institute of Art, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in New York and Los Angeles.
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