Untitled (We Decorate Your Life) by Barbara Kruger
Sprüeth Magers Gallery in London presents a retrospective of Barbara Kruger’s early works, now on display through January 23rd. In this rare opportunity to see this portion of her collection, one will note the raw and less yielded approach in these pieces than in her later more refined works.
More text and related links after the jump…
Untitled (Your Seeing Is Believing) by Barbara Kruger
Kruger’s haunting and exposed imagery is juxtaposed with blaring statements of text relative to the political injustice of the world. All wording shows her simplistically fantastic use of Futura type. They note her distaste for consumerism and mass media with such phrases as “Our Prices are Insane!” and “Who is Beyond the Law?” speaking to us in clichés but saying much more.
Untitled (You Are a Very Special Person) by Barbara Kruger
Another central theme to her works is the question of power and the identity of those who dictate justice. As seen in “Untitled (You Are a Very Special Person)” the bejeweled crown symbolizes authority while the words speak of subordinate mockery.
Untitled (Our Leader) by Barbara Kruger
To quote Kruger, “I’m an artist who works with pictures and words. Sometimes that stuff ends up in different kinds of sites and contexts which determine what it means and looks like.” It is no question that with the words like “Our Leader” in the above piece “Untitled (Our Leader)” when put directly in front of the image like that of the puppet-like face, also reference authority and their premeditated actions. However, we are open to the fact that if removed from the image, the words and picture alone take onto themselves a whole new relationship with the viewer.
A gallery view of Barbara Kruger’s “Paste Up” exhibit
All of the pieces in the collection are relatively small (nothing exceeding over 11” x 13”) but carefully show Krugers hand work and her history of layout training.
Untitled (Who Is Bought And Sold?) by Barbara Kruger
Kruger recently was commissioned by the Lever House Art Collection in New York City to produce a series of window graphics which are indicative of her “Paste Up” style where she has employed large, bold typographical text to speak to the viewer about politics, powers and our hypersensitive world. She currently lives in Los Angeles and New York, and is a professor at UCLA. Her works have been displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Whitney Museum, New York; Tate Gallery, London; Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago and Yvon Lambert, Paris. Most notably, she won a “Golden Lion” at the 51st Venice Bienaale for Lifetime Achievement.
Barbara Kruger – Sprüeth Magers Gallery
All images via Sprüeth Magers Gallery unless otherwise noted.