Barbara Kruger

- Biography

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); National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2016-2017); and the Amorepacific Museum of Art, Seoul (2019). Barbara KrugerThinking of You, I Mean Me, I Mean You will open in 2020 at the Art Institute of Chicago and later travel to MoMA PS1, Long Island City and The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hayward Gallery at Southbank Centre, London; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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.

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.

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