Barbara Kruger

1945 · United States

Artist biography

Barbara Kruger is seen as an established contemporary artist, who was born in the United States. Barbara Kruger was born in 1945. Some of his contemporaries that is from the same generation and country include Chuck Close, Dale Chihuly, Bruce Nauman, James Turrell and Barbara Kruger.

About Barbara Kruger's work

Barbara Kruger's work is often described as Conceptual Art. Conceptual art is arguably not as clear and easily defined as other art movements, and can often spark intense reactions in the viewers. By nature, Conceptualism puts an emphasis on the strategies and research that go into the creation, making the concept of an artwork its most significant feature, rather than the actual finished product. Although the movement emerged in the mid 1960s, simultaneously across Europe and America, its father Marcel Duchamp had paved the way back in 1917, with his controversial artwork Fontaine. Conceptual art rejects the traditional mediums, and strives to place the artwork in the realm of ideas - rather than that of material objects. Some of the most prominent figures of Conceptualism include artists such as Sol LeWitt, Lawrence Weiner and Yoko Ono.

Galleries and Exhibitions

Barbara Kruger's work is available on display in multiple galleries around the globe such as in the United Kingdom, Italy, and the United States. The galleries exhibiting Barbara Kruger's work include Skarstedt Gallery | London in the United Kingdom, Le Case D'Arte in Italy, as well as Sprüth Magers | Los Angeles in the United States. Barbara Kruger's work has most recently been displayed during the exhibition Jellyfish at Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles, the United States. The exhibition was open from the 30 January 2020 until the 12 March 2020. Barbara Kruger's other most recent exhibitions listed on Artland include the exhibitions; HARD FEELINGS (10 September 2019 - 25 October 2019) at Nahmad Contemporary in New York and 1978 (01 November 2018 - 21 December 2018) at Mary Boone Gallery | Uptown in New York. Barbara Kruger's first recorded exhibition in Artland's database was called Forever and took place at Sprüth Magers | Berlin in Germany from the 16 September 2017 to 01 January 2018.

Barbara Kruger's Biographical Context

Barbara Kruger was born in 1945 and was primarily inspired by the 1960s in the artist's early years. The 1960s were an explosive decade internationally, bearing witness to great increase of modernist ideas and trends. It was the era of Kennedy and Kruschev, and the start of the Cold War, which would endure for most of the second half of the twentieth century, and was epitomised most symbolically by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The Iron Curtain divided Eastern and Western Europe, both ideologically and literally, and student political uprisings took place across the globe. Psychedelia, an massive increase in consumerism, and the associated trends of marketing and advertising further epitomised the era. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, focused solely on line, colour and geometric form as key components of both painting and sculpture. The main figures of Minimalism included Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Colour Field painting, as practiced by Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler, further explored some of the expressive philosophies of Abstract Expressionism, but reduced much of the rhetoric, instead approaching a more rule-based approach to surface and colour that related this practice to Minimalism. Globally, a number of artistic movements resonated the artistic concerns of the previously mentioned movements, often with regional specialisms and nuance. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni established Spatialism, and in Germany the Zero group under the leadership of Gunter Uecker espoused similar ideas. The influential school of Existentialist Philosophy was an important source of creativity for creatives, with artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti achieving international prominence for their distinctive approaches to the human form and the angst related to the human condition.

Historical Context of United States

The United States, in particular New York city, remains as a central point that has played a substantial role in developing modern and contemporary art in the twentieth century. The idea of New York as a new multinational and highly influential art centre emerged in the post war era, and the city thrived in asserting its supremacy over Paris, which used to be regarded as the most powerful global art capital. The authority of the political and economic structures of the United States in the modern era has granted the country with a prevailing influence on the visual culture of the world. Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, Neo-Expressionism, Graffiti and Street Art, are significant art movements that emerged in the US. These very movements also echoed into a multitude of variations, such as diverse forms of Abstract Expressionism, as well as East and West Coast adaptations of Pop Art, among others. Some internationally distinguished U.S artists of the modern age include Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.

Barbara Kruger

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