This project was prompted by the work of two significant contemporary
artists, Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer.
Barbara Kruger is one of the most influential artists of the last
three decades. She uses pictures and words in a wide variety of
media and installation sites to raise issues of power, sexuality,
and representation. Her works include photographic prints on paper
and vinyl, etched metal plates, sculpture, video installations,
billboards, posters, magazine and book covers, T-shirts, shopping
bags, postcards and newspaper op-ed pieces.
Krugers artwork is philosophical and subversive. The work
is bold--seemingly simple and effortless combinations of black and
white images, many from 50s magazines. Thought-provoking texts
catch the viewer off-guard and make one think hard about exactly
what the artist is saying. Her themes range broadly over the spectrum
of social disenfranchisement and human rights, focusing especially
on womens issues.
Interesting books on Barbara Kruger to have
on hand, available through
Thinking of You, hardcover,
264 pages, $28.00.
Love for Sale: The Words and Pictures of Barbara Kruger, paperback,
96 pages, $13.56.
Barbara Kruger work at a very useful contemporary
LightsourceHistory of Photography
Lightsource, housed at the University of Illinois at Urbana, is
an image database of 20th Century fine art photography. The images
are indexed alphabetically by photographer, and organized into six
genres that represent significant forms of 20th Century practice:
documentary, landscape, figure, postmodern, text, and fabricated
The work of Jenny Holzer has been shown worldwide in prominent institutions.
Holzers focus has been on words and on the investigation of
means to disseminate her ideas within public space. Since the late
70s, she has been working in the street and in public buildings,
using media that would enable her work to blend in with the urbanscape.
From LCD displays (New Yorks Time Square) to posters and stickers
applied to such elements as telephone booths or parking meters,
the texts function as comments on the environment they fit into,
stimulating awareness of our social conditioning in the very sites
in which we may be confronted by the behavior based on such conditioning.
Holzers Truisms can
lead to very interesting conversations with students about their
unexamined beliefs and expectations. Often, upon reflection, a Truism
that seems utterly absurd when first read, is later understood as
a part of many peoples belief systems, including ones
A great looking list of many Jenny Holzer Truisms:
TRUISMS, an interactive Jenny Holzer piece
presented by the Walker Art Center