Barbara Kruger - Artworks & Biography | David Zwirner
An installation view of an exhibition titled, Barbara Kruger: Belief + Doubt, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, dated 2012-ongoing.
Barbara Kruger
An installation by Barbara Kruger, titled Untitled (Blind idealism is ...), at the High Line, New York, dated 2016.

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Blind idealism is ...), High Line, New York, 2016. Photo by Timothy Schenck

April 29–August 28, 2022

The Neue Nationalgalerie presents Barbara Kruger's first institutional solo exhibition in Berlin and in Germany for over ten years. For Please laugh / Please cry, Barbara Kruger is developing a site-specific text installation for the Neue Nationalgalerie’s exhibition hall that addresses the political and social effects of social media. The intervention will occupy the entire floor of the exhibition space and invites public discourse.

The conceptual artist has been known since the 1970s for her large-format graphics featuring sharply worded statements or short texts, which she uses to interrogate common social stereotypes from a feminist and consumption-critical perspective. As an homage to architect Mies van der Rohe and his famous Berlin building, the essential parts of the architecture will remain untouched by Kruger’s artistic intervention. From a distance, visitors may not even notice the exhibition; only when they enter the building itself do they truly become aware of it. The exhibition has completely preserved the visual connection between the interior and exterior space. At the same time, the graphic impact of Kruger’s text work, reduced to the colors black, white and red, creates a strong contrast with the architecture.

A still from an aerial drone panoramic video of Piazza San Marco featuring Doge's Palace, Basilica and Campanile, Venice, Italy.

Ruth AsawaNoah DavisBarbara KrugerAndra Ursuţa, and Portia Zvavahera are among the artists invited to the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Cecilia Alemani. Titled The Milk of Dreams, the exhibition will be on view from April 23–November 27, 2022, and takes its name from a book by Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington. Tau Lewis, whose exhibition at 52 Walker opens this fall, is also among the artists featured. Learn more at La Biennale di Venezia

Among the national pavilions, Francis Alÿs will represent Belgium. The pavilion will be curated by Hilde Teerlinck, a curator at the Han Nefkens Foundation in Barcelona. Alÿs, whose work featured in the main exhibition at the Biennale Arte in 1999, 2001, and 2007, will present new work developed from his 2017 video Children’s Games #19: Haram Football. Learn more at the Belgian Pavilion

Stan Douglas has been selected to represent Canada. Douglas’s work has previously been exhibited at the Biennale Arte in 1990, 2001, 2005, and 2019. Learn more at the National Gallery of Canada.

Concurrently with the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, the Palazzo Grassi in Venice will present open-end, a major monographic exhibition dedicated to Marlene Dumas, opening to the public on March 27, 2022. It is the latest in a cycle of monographic shows dedicated to major contemporary artists, launched in 2012 and alternating with thematic exhibitions of the Pinault Collection.

The exhibition is curated by Caroline Bourgeois in collaboration with Marlene Dumas; it brings together over 100 works and focuses on her whole pictorial production, with a selection of paintings and drawings created between 1984 and today, including unseen works made in the last few years. The exhibition will remain open to the public from March 27, 2022–January 8, 2023. Learn more from the Palazzo Grassi.

Congratulations to all eight of our artists whose work will be featured in Venice in 2022. 

A digital image by Barbara Kruger, titled Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You, dated 2019.

Barbara Kruger, Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You, 2019

March 20–July 17, 2022

Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You. is a major exhibition devoted to the work of Barbara Kruger, one of the most significant and visible artists of our time. Spanning four decades, this exhibition is the largest and most comprehensive presentation of Kruger’s work in 20 years; it spans her single-channel videos from the 1980s to digital productions of the last two decades, and includes large-scale vinyl room wraps, multichannel video installations, and audio soundscapes throughout LACMA’s campus. As an active consumer and vigilant viewer of popular culture, Kruger grapples with the accelerated ways pictures and words instantaneously flow through media. How they are simultaneously played and re-played informs her most recent video works, which are an exhibition highlight. Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You. is a visually compelling gathering of groundbreaking artwork that is resonant, courageous, and crucial.

A COVID face mask designed by Barbara Kruger.

Wedel Art Collective and MATCHESFASHION have collaborated with six artists—Raymond Pettibon, Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, Rashid Johnson, Lorna Simpson, and Rosemarie Trockel—to create face masks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The masks are being sustainably produced with three layers of 100% cotton in accordance with the French government’s regulations for Category 1 face masks, recommended for persons in regular contact with the public. Worn correctly, Category 1 face masks reduce the chance of the mask-wearer spreading the virus. We wear reusable cotton masks to protect each other and reduce the overall environmental viral load.

Half of the proceeds will be donated to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the other half will be split between two artist relief charities, Artist Relief Coalition and Common Practice, both of which are supporting US and UK artists whose livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic.  

The designed masks are available for six months exclusively at MATCHESFASHION, beginning August 24.

To read more about the project and to purchase a mask, please click here.

(New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong – November 21, 2019) David Zwirner is pleased to announce the representation of American artist Barbara Kruger in collaboration with Sprüth Magers.

Since the late 1970s, Kruger has consistently engaged with images and language as tools of communication, repurposing them to create works in a variety of scales, settings, and formats. Directly and powerfully addressing the viewer, Kruger’s collages, installations, billboards, and videos reveal and question established power structures and social constructs.

Kruger rose to prominence in the early eighties, creating large scale black-and-white photo-based images often framed in red and overlaid with the languages of direct address. Her engagement with issues of value, gender, marginality, and the construction of consensus, coupled with a powerful visuality, continues to be singularly recognizable and resonant today.

As art historian Miwon Kwon notes, “Kruger doesn’t instruct us on what position to take so much as reveal how positions are made: what we take to be our naturally or innately personal positions and identities are, in fact, publicly constructed. Her work demands that each of us recognize the fact that our identities and positions, our mark of difference from one another in terms of gender, class, race, age, religion, etc. are defined within the structuring powers of language, image and space, that is, cultural systems of representation.”1

David Zwirner states, “I have greatly admired Barbara Kruger since I first saw her work at Monika Sprüth Galerie in Cologne more than thirty years ago. Her work has become even more essential in the decades since, speaking truth to power and transitioning from the museum into mainstream culture. We are honored to represent her and look forward to exhibiting her work.”

Barbara Kruger was born in 1945 in Newark, New Jersey and studied at Syracuse University and Parsons School of Design, New York. In 1966, she began working for Condé Nast in the design department at Mademoiselle, where she honed her fluencies with pictures and words. In the pursuant decade, Kruger worked as a freelance picture editor and graphic designer for magazines and books. The artist’s work was first exhibited in the Whitney Biennial in 1973, and the following year she had a solo exhibition at Artists Space, New York. Subsequent solo shows were held at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York (1980–1981),the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1983), Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles (1982), Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago (1984), and Mary Boone Gallery, beginning in 1987, among other venues. In 1985, her work was featured in a solo presentation at Monika Sprüth Galerie, Cologne, and was shortly thereafter included in the first of the gallery’s influential series of Eau de Cologne exhibitions featuring emerging contemporary female artists. Kruger went on to have a number of significant solo shows at Sprüth Magers, most recently Barbara Kruger: Forever in 2017–2018 at the gallery’s Berlin location.

In 1999–2000, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, organized a mid-career retrospective highlighting the artist’s work from 1978 to the present that traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Other significant solo exhibitions of Kruger’s work have been organized by the Palazzo delle Papesse - Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena (2002); Skarstedt Gallery, New York (2003, 2009); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2008–2011); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2010–2011); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2011–2012); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2013–2014); Modern Art Oxford (2014); and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2016-2017). The artist’s first solo show in Asia is currently on view through December 29, 2019 at the Amorepacific Museum of Art, Seoul.

Kruger has created a number of public installations, which have appeared in museums, municipal buildings, train stations, and parks, as well as on buses and billboards. Site-specific projects by the artist include installations for the Public Art Fund, New York (1989, 1991, 1997, and 2000); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1990 and 2010); The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2008); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2010); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (2012); The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014); Vancouver Art Gallery (2016); Metro Bellas Artes, Mexico City (2016); and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2018), among others.

In 2005, Kruger was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale, where she was also commissioned to design the facade of Italy’s national pavillion. In 2019, the artist was awarded the Kaiserring (or “Emperor’s Ring”) prize from the city of Goslar, in Germany, and currently has a solo exhibition in conjunction with this honor at the Mönchehaus Museum Goslar, on view through January 26, 2020. 

Work by the artist is represented in international museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; The Broad, Los Angeles; Fonds régional d’art contemporain (FRAC) de Bourgogne, Dijon; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain, Nice, France; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis; Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo; Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York; and the Tate Modern, London. Kruger lives and works in Los Angeles and New York.

For all press inquiries, contact
Julia Lukacher +1 212 727 2070 [email protected]

Image: Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Belief + Doubt, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, 2012-ongoing. Photo by Cathy Carver

1Miwon Kwon, “A Message from Barbara Kruger: Empathy Can Change the World,” in Barbara Kruger (New York: Rizzoli, 2010), p. 90. 

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