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Year 9 - Identity: Barbara Kruger

A guide to resources on identity in art, compiled by your librarians. Last updated December 2018.

Barbara Kruger


EARLY YEARS : Barbara Kruger was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1945. After attending Syracuse University, the School of Visual Arts, and studying art and design with Diane Arbus at Parson’s School of Design in New York, Kruger obtained a design job at Condé Nast Publications. Working for Mademoiselle Magazine, she was quickly promoted to head designer. Later, she worked as a graphic designer, art director, and picture editor in the art departments at House and Garden, Aperture, and other publications. This background in design is evident in the work for which she is now internationally renowned.  [source :]s.

Since the early 1980s, Barbara Kruger has been combining typeface with found images from books, film stills, and ads to create her montage like artwork. Kruger layers found photographs with strong, aggressive text often using red black and white to create a stark contrast. Some of her instantly recognizable slogans read “I shop, therefore I am,” and “Your body is a battleground.” Much of her text questions the viewer about feminism, classicism, consumerism, and individual autonomy and desire, although ironically her black-and-white images are taken from magazines that promote the very ideas she is questioning. [source :]s.

Works of Barbara Kruger

Image Sources

Spencer Alley