Today is the birthday of Barbara Kruger, the subversive female artist known to harness the power of print media in her bold, declarative artworks. In the midst of a major exhibition at the Hirschhorn Museum in D.C., Kruger is turning 68 years old.
An artwork by Barbara Kruger is exhibited by the Mary Boone Gallery during the Vernissage Art Basel Miami Beach, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011, in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/ Lynne Sladky)
Addressing issues of language and mass communication, Kruger has created billboard-sized works that combine striking found images with sharply critical text. From sexism to consumerism, the artist takes aim at the power structures that be with phrases like "Money makes money," "Plenty should be enough," and "You comfort is my silence." It's a technique that's not too surprising, given the artist's early career in publishing in the 1970s, submersed in the text and image-filled universe of Conde Nast.
Since entering into the realm of fine art, and participating in the Whitney Biennial in 1973, Kruger has shown her large-scale work at galleries across the world including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Serpentine Gallery in London, and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. This year, an exhibit, titled "Belief+Doubt," is taking over the lower lobby of D.C.'s Hirschhorn Gallery, featuring her biting imaginations as floor-to-ceiling wallpaper designs.
In honor of Ms. Kruger's birthday, watch a time-lapse video of the Hirschhorn installation process here, and view a slideshow of images from the exhibit below. Let us know how you are celebrating the iconic artist's birthday in the comments section.