Barbara Kruger used her classical training in design and her experience in the fashion industry to create conceptual art that pushed audiences to question assumptions about gender, violence, patriotism, and their relationship to the media. Kruger studied at Syracuse, the School for Visual Arts, and the Parsons School of Design under artists like Diane Arbus and Marvin Israel, but never graduated. Despite this, Israel helped her land a job with Condé Nast and a year later, at age 22, she became chief designer at Mademoiselle. Inspired by German avant-garde photographers who used photomontage and collage to create politically charged art, Kruger began creating pieces that used red and white text superimposed on photographs and advertisements to push viewers to rethink their assumptions. Her work was included in the prestigious 1973 Whitney Biennial among many others, and she has been commissioned for projects ranging from outdoor installations around the world to ads promoting art education in schools, as well as pro-choice and anti-domestic-violence PSAs. She also writes art criticism, has taught at a number of institutions, and as of 2014 is professor emerita at UCLA.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Barbara Kruger." (Viewed on May 31, 2020) <https://jwa.org/people/kruger-barbara>.