Installation view of the exhibition titled Barbara Kruger at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2022.
Barbara Kruger
An installation view of Barbara Kruger’s installation at ICA Boston, 2022

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Hope/Fear), 2022. Installation view, Barbara Kruger, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, 2022–24. Photo by Mel Taing

 

November 3, 2022–January 21, 2024

At the ICA, Barbara Kruger will transform the first-floor lobby’s Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall into a monumental, thought-provoking installation that comments on the key issues of our era while reimagining one of her most iconic images. The riveting new work, Untitled (Hope/Fear), 2022, will be on view through January 21, 2024, in a presentation organized by Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Senior Curator.

"The ICA installation draws on Kruger’s decades-long practice of creating large-scale installations of her text-based art, transforming spaces with her signature aesthetic and pointed content. Continuing in this vein, her brand-new work for the ICA will speak, as her work has done for many years, to issues of war, women’s rights, and power, and ultimately to question authority,” said Erickson.

Learn more at ICA Boston.

 
An installation view of Barbara Kruger's large-scale site-specific commission at The Museum of Modern Art, from 2022 through 2023

Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You, Museum of Modern Art, 2019

 

The Museum of Modern Art presents Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You., a large-scale site-specific commission that will envelop the Donald and Catherine Marron Family Atrium from July 16, 2022, through January 2, 2023. David Zwirner will present a solo exhibition of Barbara Kruger’s work spanning three New York gallery locations from June 30 to August 12, coinciding with the MoMA installation.

Covering the various surfaces of the Marron Family Atrium’s walls and floor with printed vinyl, the new commission at MoMA will feature the artist’s trademark bold textual statements on ideas of truth, power, belief, doubt, and desire. 

Kruger’s atrium commission is presented in conjunction with a major solo exhibition devoted to the artist’s work that was on view at the Art Institute of Chicago in the fall of 2021 and traveled to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where it is on view through July 17, 2022.

Kruger’s first exhibition at David Zwirner will feature nine large-scale video works and installations, as well as sound installations and vinyl wallpaper that reveal the radical inventiveness and lasting relevance of Kruger’s incisive work with pictures and words. Included in the exhibition is Pledge, Will, Vow (1988/2020), which is also on view at the 59th Venice Biennale, as well as in Kruger’s solo exhibition at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.


Learn more about the atrium commission at MoMA.

Installation view of the exhibition, Barbara Kruger: Bitte lachen / Please cry, at Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, dated 2022

Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Bitte lachen / Please cry, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2022. Photo by Timo Ohler. Courtesy the artist and Sprüth Magers / Mies van der Rohe, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Bitte lachen / Please cry, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2022. Photo by Timo Ohler. Courtesy the artist and Sprüth Magers / Mies van der Rohe, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

Installation view of the exhibition, Barbara Kruger: Bitte lachen / Please cry, at Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, dated 2022.

Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Bitte lachen / Please cry, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2022. Photo by Timo Ohler. Courtesy the artist and Sprüth Magers / Mies van der Rohe, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Bitte lachen / Please cry, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2022. Photo by Timo Ohler. Courtesy the artist and Sprüth Magers / Mies van der Rohe, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

Installation view of the exhibition, Barbara Kruger: Bitte lachen / Please cry, at Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, dated 2022.

Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Bitte lachen / Please cry, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2022. Photo by Timo Ohler. Courtesy the artist and Sprüth Magers / Mies van der Rohe, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Bitte lachen / Please cry, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2022. Photo by Timo Ohler. Courtesy the artist and Sprüth Magers / Mies van der Rohe, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

Installation view of the exhibition, Barbara Kruger: Bitte lachen / Please cry, at Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, dated 2022.

Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Bitte lachen / Please cry, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2022. Photo by Timo Ohler. Courtesy the artist and Sprüth Magers / Mies van der Rohe, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Bitte lachen / Please cry, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2022. Photo by Timo Ohler. Courtesy the artist and Sprüth Magers / Mies van der Rohe, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

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.

Installation view of Barbara Kruger at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, dated 2022.

Barbara Kruger, installation view, 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani, 2022. Photo by Maris Mezulis

Barbara Kruger, installation view, 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani, 2022. Photo by Maris Mezulis

Installation view of Barbara Kruger at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, dated 2022.

Barbara Kruger, installation view, 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani, 2022. Photo by Maris Mezulis

Barbara Kruger, installation view, 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani, 2022. Photo by Maris Mezulis

Installation view of Barbara Kruger at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, dated 2022.

Barbara Kruger, installation view, 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani, 2022. Photo by Maris Mezulis

Barbara Kruger, installation view, 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani, 2022. Photo by Maris Mezulis

Installation view of Barbara Kruger at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, dated 2022.

Barbara Kruger, installation view, 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani, 2022. Photo by Maris Mezulis

Barbara Kruger, installation view, 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani, 2022. Photo by Maris Mezulis

Installation view of Barbara Kruger at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, dated 2022.

Barbara Kruger, installation view, 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani, 2022. Photo by Maris Mezulis

Barbara Kruger, installation view, 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani, 2022. Photo by Maris Mezulis

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. 

Installation view of the exhibition, Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You., at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, dated 2022.

Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2022. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2022. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

Installation view of the exhibition, Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You., at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, dated 2022.

Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2022. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2022. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

Installation view of the exhibition, Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You., at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, dated 2022.

Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2022. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

Installation view, Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2022. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

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.

Installation view of Barbara Kruger: THINKING OF YOU. I MEAN ME. I MEAN YOU. at the Art Institute Chicago, dated 2021.
Installation view, Barbara Kruger: THINKING OF YOU. I MEAN ME. I MEAN YOU., Art Institute Chicago, 2021

September 19, 2021–January 24, 2022

For more than 40 years, American artist Barbara Kruger has been a consistent, critical observer of the ways that images circulate through our culture. Combining images with provocative text, Kruger uses direct address—along with humor, vigilance, and empathy—to expose and undermine the power dynamics of identity, desire, and consumerism. As shrinking attention spans collide with the voyeurism and narcissism that define contemporary life, her immersive installations and widely circulated pictures and words invite us to reconsider how we relate to one another.

THINKING OF YOU. I MEAN ME. I MEAN YOU. encompasses the full breadth of her career—from early and rarely seen “pasteups” (works that use an analog technique for physically arranging a page’s contents with manual “cut and paste”) to digital productions of the last two decades. The presentation includes works on vinyl, site-specific installations, animations, and multichannel video installations.

The exhibition is not, however, a retrospective. Challenging notions of career building and a strict chronology, Kruger has reenvisioned the retrospective itself by rethinking, remaking, and replaying her work over the decades for the constantly moving present.

The exhibition at the Art Institute—collaboratively designed with the artist—interrogates the specific cultural context of the museum, as it transcends the traditional exhibition space and extends into the museum’s public spaces and the city beyond. Kruger’s work not only fills the entirety of the museum’s largest exhibition space—the 18,000 square-foot Regenstein Hall—but also occupies Griffin Court, an 8,000-square-foot atrium running the length of the Modern Wing, with new site-specific work. Kruger’s text and images address both the architecture and relational spaces throughout the museum. Kruger will additionally engage the surrounding cityscape, creating work for billboards, the Chicago Transit Authority, and Art on theMART, among other locations and organizations.

 

October 19, 2020–May 9, 2021

A deep dive into The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s rich collection of contemporary photography, Pictures, Revisited reassesses the legacy of visual appropriation at the museum and beyond. The images in this show are snipped from magazines, staged, or copied outright from other artworks. Like the works in this exhibition, the show itself is a sort of remix; on the occasion of the museum’s 150th anniversary, it provocatively expands and reimagines The Met’s landmark 2009 exhibition The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984—the first major museum initiative to trace the evolution of visual appropriation through a network of practitioners including Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, Richard Prince, and Sarah Charlesworth. Drawing equally from pop culture and art history, the artists manipulated familiar photographs, ads, logos, and tropes, decontextualizing and reusing this imagery to upend traditional notions of authorship. Responding to a media landscape ever more saturated with images, they reached a conclusion which in our digital age seems obvious: where pictures once documented reality, they now replace it.

More than a decade later, Pictures, Revisited situates their work in an expanded field. Of the tightly knit group of American artists who formed the first “Pictures Generation,” five, including Barbara Kruger, are represented here. They appear alongside key predecessors and contemporaries, as well as artists for whom the “Pictures” approach was a critical influence. This exhibition considers the many legacies of appropriation, manifest at times in collage and archival projects, and in theatrically staged photographs that test the limits of cliché. Seen together, these strategies suggest an antidote to the anxiety of influence—that fear that there is nothing new under the sun. In a world increasingly mediated by images, perhaps there is no such thing as an original picture.

An artwork by Barbara Kruger called Untitled (Your Seeing Is Believing), dated 1984

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Your Seeing Is Believing), 1984

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. 

June 27–December 29, 2019

The Amorepacific Museum of Art presents the world-renowned contemporary artist Barbara Kruger’s first solo exhibition in Asia, BARBARA KRUGER: FOREVER. The museum planned this exhibition in celebration of its first anniversary of opening in the Yongsan district of Seoul. The show features major works that represent Kruger’s career from the 1980s to the present day. This is a great chance to experience the true colors of the artist who has been working on various forms of art for over forty years while sticking to a consistent and original style and pattern.


Barbara Kruger is an American conceptual artist well known for her works that apply advertising techniques in juxtaposing images and texts. Through eye-catching symbolic fonts and concise yet intense messages, she has critically conveyed power, desire, consumerism, gender and class issues in mass media and mechanisms of contemporary society. Her works raise questions about the framework of thoughts that build the foundation of our way of thinking, such as universal notion, belief, or stereotype, enabling viewers to think independently.

This exhibition features forty-four works representative of Kruger’s oeuvre, including large-scale, site-specific installations. For the exhibition, the artist unveils her first piece in Korean Hangul, Untitled (충분하면만족하라) (2019), which translates to “Plenty should be enough,” a common phrase used by Kruger to critique consumerism and desire. Untitled (Forever) (2017), which is held in the collection of the Amorepacific Museum of Art and from which the exhibition takes its title, has been specially redesigned by the artist for this presentation. There are also sixteen pieces from the early collage series of the 1980s, Your body is a battleground and We don’t need another hero.

Press Release

 
An installation by Barbara Kruger, called Untitled (Forever), dated 2017

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Forever), 2017

January 20–May 13, 2018

This selection of video installations
 from the Hammer Contemporary Collection features major works by the American artists Charles Atlas, Barbara Kruger, and Kara Walker created in the last decade. Using very different strategies of montage, direct address, and narrative imagery, respectively, each of these artists is among our most eloquent social critics.

Barbara Kruger’s The Globe Shrinks (2010) is a four-channel, thirteen-minute compilation of video and text that narrates, in a series of scenes and skits, the conflicting coexistence of kindness and brutality. In this work, the “you” that Kruger’s texts often accost momentarily becomes an “us” as she juxtaposes scenes of different people’s everyday interactions. She pairs both tense and intimate performances, putting emphasis on the possibility of agency rather than the inevitability of exploitation. She invites us to consider the impact of our seemingly banal daily activities and communications by highlighting their nuances. Drawing her title from the cultural theorist Homi Bhabha, who theorized that “the globe shrinks for those who own it,” Kruger reminds us of our common humanity through brief moments of sincerity.

Unspeakable: Atlas, Kruger, Walker; Hammer Contemporary Collection is organized by Connie Butler, chief curator, and Ann Philbin, director.

An image from Barbara Kruger, The Globe Shrinks, dated 2010

Barbara Kruger, The Globe Shrinks, 2010

November 1–19, 2017

For Performa 17, the conceptual artist Barbara Kruger creates a series of dynamic interventions across New York City, both site-specific and itinerant. This collection of work is the artist’s first major project in New York in eight years. Two of Kruger’s mobile works in the series include 50,000 MTA metrocards, each emblazoned with four critical, biting questions set in the artist’s signature-style text, and Untitled (School), a wrapped school bus that can be seen around the city and parked outside various Performa venues. Grounded in activism, feminism, and community, Kruger’s signature text is reproduced on a large-scale vinyl format, covering the bus’s forty-foot-long shell.

Barbara Kruger’s concurrent site-specific pieces include a billboard entitled Untitled (Know, Believe, Forget) at 10th Avenue and 17th Street and an installation, Untitled (Skate), in Coleman Skatepark under the Brooklyn Bridge. Created in partnership with NYC Parks and skate-park designer Steve Rodriguez, Kruger employs her signature effects and strategies to broadcast messages that engage issues of and ideas about power, desire, adoration, contempt, and capital at New York’s most popular skate park. As part of her first-ever performance, Kruger staged a stylized merchandise “drop” in SoHo, working on notions of appropriation, power, and consumerism.

Playbill

An artwork by Barbara Kruger, called Untitled (Skate), dated 2017

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Skate), 2017. Courtesy of Performa. Photograph © Paula Court

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