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The Printed Page


 

The Printed Page is a website devoted to exploring the visual arts, including photography, video, new media, painting and sculpture, that have a strong visual component to them. Different from most art websites, this one is interested in reaching out to film and media professionals and buffs who have a strong visual sense and appreciation of the image. The site will cover newly published books from around the world that capture the visual imagination of its artists.


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Barbara Kruger Monograph Published By Rizzoli

 

 

Following short on the heels of the world premiere of Barbara Kruger’s multi-channeled video installation, “The Globe Shrinks” (2010) at Mary Boone Gallery in New York and the announcement by the Whitney Museum of American Art of an upcoming monumental site-specific piece at their proposed downtown location in the Meatpacking district, also in New York, the release in May of Rizzoli’s opulent, 300 page monograph on the work of Barbara Kruger could not be more timely. This comprehensive volume, beautifully designed in close collaboration with the artist herself, explores her output over the past 30 years including many previously unpublished pieces.

Kruger’s work in the decade since Ann Goldstein’s mid-career retrospective organized for the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles in 1989-90, has exploded beyond the often hermetic enviorns of the “white-box” gallery, into the broader public arena with large-scale projects and installations located all over the globe from Brazil to Germany, Japan to South Africa. Many are documented here with lush, full-paged illustrations and multi-paged spreads often accompanied by preparatory drawings and architectural renderings. From digital video installations to “bus-wraps”; bus shelter poster projects to magazine covers, tee-shirts and photographic wall murals, it’s all here.

Contextualized with insightful essays by Alexander Alberro, Hal Foster, Martha Gever, Miwon Kwon, Kruger herself, and Carol Squiers, who gives us a fascinating examination of Kruger’s formative years working in the art department of Mademoiselle magazine. Thus revealing her debt to legendary art director Marvin Israel and photographer Diane Arbus as well as an insightful look into what was to become Kruger’s ubiquitous graphic-style, wedding the written word, most often presented in blocks of bright red, to the black and white photographic image creating provocative, multi-layered, often contradictory, in-your-face protestations. Kruger’s program investigates topics such as abortion, consumerism, spirituality, identity (sexual and otherwise) and recurring themes such as duality, the collision of declaration and doubt, and selective anmesia.

Alberro’s essay suggests that like Foucault, Kruger also rejects the notion that power radiates from a single source. Out of this philosophy comes the often cacophonous mash-up of one part consciousness-raising, one part reality check, and one part attitude readjustment which characterizes much of Kruger’s work. But never underestimate the economical impact of the “less is more” aesthetic which is embedded in the very fabric of twentieth century systems of representation and communication, and here, in particular, a fundamental tenet in photo-montage. Gloriously illustrated in full color is Kruger’s 2008 New York Magazine cover image featuring New York State’s disgraced ex-Governor, Elliot Spitzer - one photograph, one word, an avalanche of meanings.

While the importance of the work of many artists of Kruger’s generation, including some from the famed “Pictures Generation” group has ebbed and flowed (in some cases more than once), Kruger’s micro/macro view of the ways of the world remains particularly relevant to many younger artists, designers and even, theoreticians navigating the treacherous waters of an ever increasing media obsessed global landscape. This continued relevance is further illustrated with an abundant selection of actual New York Times Op-Ed pieces coupled with Kruger’s signature graphic meditations.

This seminal volume celebrating the career of this highly influential artist presents the full scope of Kruger’s achievements, documented here in sections devoted to exterior and interior installations, publications and commodities and flatworks, as well as an extensive exhibition history, selected books and monographs and artist writings. Tellingly, the final work reproduced here is a piece dated 1988, entitled, “Untitled (Remember Me)”.

The Barbara Kruger monograph is currently available at book retail shops, on Amazon.com and other web retail sites. For more information on the book visit: http://www.rizzoliusa.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780847833252. For other books of visual interest, visit the Rizzoli USA website: www.rizzoliusa.com 

Richard Meinking, Visual and Fine Arts Editor

Comments (2)

I am extremely glad to go

I am extremely glad to go through this interesting piece of work about Barbara Kruger monograph published by rizzoli.  I've enjoyed reading the nice post.  It is a good food for thought. Thanks. 

your piece is BRILLIANT

Sandy Mandelberger, Zlin Film Festival Dailies Editor

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