Kandinsky Analysis

kandinsky

This Kandinsky poster structures its elements around a grid, in this case a slanted one. It uses a somewhat analogous, warm color scheme. The designer uses big, bold text that really jumps out at the viewer, creating excellent readability while maintaining legibility throughout. This poster has a nice shape of negative space that generally surrounds the inner elements. Said elements are spaced evenly with enough negative space between them, and aforementioned interesting space surrounding them, that it does not read as an island composition. The use of a grid, the sans serif font and the black and white image are all qualities that are characteristic of the International Typographic Style.

A World Wide Statement

Vinyl wallpaper in the lobby of the Hirshhorn museum in Washington DC

Vinyl wallpaper in the lobby of the Hirshhorn museum in Washington DC

Kruger first exhibited her now trademark works in 1979 at the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City, Queens. Since then, her work has been shown in museums and galleries worldwide, and has also been used on billboards, buscards, posters, a public park, a train station platform in Strasbourg, France, and in other public commissions.

The image shown above is of the Washington DC’s Hirschhorn museum’s lobby. Kruger’s explosive text was plastered to the walls in December 2012 and will remain there until December 2014.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Kruger
http://www.barbarakruger.com/biography.shtml

Cultural Idioms for Conventional Wisdom

Untitled 1981

Untitled 1981

Kruger’s bold phrases strike both our eyes and our minds. The phrases carry an accusatory tone, and use pronouns like “I,” “you” and “we” in order to turn the viewer into the subject. These pronouns also satirically refer to and comment on the roles of men and women in society.

http://www.eng.fju.edu.tw/Literary_Criticism/feminism/kruger/kruger.htm

Social Commentary at its Finest

Untitled (Perfect), 1980

Untitled (Perfect), 1980

The aim of Kruger’s work is to comment on society. This image shows a woman with hands clasped. It is reminiscent of prayer and the virgin Mary. The word “perfect” relates this back to how in society’s eyes, women are supposed to have an air of perfection akin to Mary’s. She is fascinated by pop culture, religion, feminism, sexuality, consumerism, corporate greed, politics and power. These things captivate Kruger, and have been a life long study of hers as well as the focus of her art.

“I shop, therefore I am”

Kruger, Untitled (I shop therefore I am), 1987

Kruger, Untitled (I shop therefore I am), 1987

Before becoming famous, Kruger worked a range of jobs for various magazines. At Conde Nast, she worked on “Mademoiselle” magazine as head designer. Her other job titles included art director, graphic designer and picture editor. She worked for “House and Garden,” “Aperture,” and other publications. This background in advertising and graphic design is evident in the designs that she is now known and renowned for. She takes black and white versions of photographs from existing sources, and overlays them with a bold, italic white font against red rectangles.

http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/barbara-kruger