Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You

LACMA

About the Exhibition

The most comprehensive presentation of Barbara Kruger’s work in a generation, Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You. features photography, sculpture, graphic design, architecture, and audio-visual installations created over the past four decades. The exhibition expands beyond the museum galleries to feature outdoor murals along Wilshire Boulevard, audio soundscapes throughout LACMA’s campus, and one of Kruger’s signature vinyl wraps affixed to a Hyundai IONIQ 5, which drives throughout Los Angeles over the course of the show. Rather than a retrospective, Kruger’s presentation challenges chronology through reconsidering and replaying works from the past in decisively present modes.


Since leaving school at 19 to begin her career in publishing, Kruger has focused on the relationship between words and images. As she has explained: “I work with pictures and words because I think they have the ability to tell us and remind us where we’ve come from and where we’re going.” Working with black-and-white photographs and often incorporating collage, Kruger came into the spotlight alongside Pictures Generation peers such as Louise Lawler, David Salle, and Richard Prince, while her interest in issues around power and gender placed her simultaneously within the postmodern feminist movement. Throughout her career, Kruger has continued to experiment with new media and production techniques, incorporating LEDs, social media, and other tools of mass communication to expose the power dynamics of identity, desire, and consumerism.


Her prescience around pop culture and the ways in which media is consumed have made her one of the most influential artists of the past century, with the instantly recognizable Kruger aesthetic appearing everywhere from brands to political ads. With incisive wit and humor, Kruger integrates a selection of these appropriations back into her own works, upending questions of authorship and ownership. Regardless of the context, her work has only increased in power and scope over the years, reflecting back the shortened attention spans, voyeurism, and narcissism that define the present while provoking systems of power, and thrilling viewers across the world.


Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You. is part of The Hyundai Project at LACMA, a 10-year partnership between LACMA and Hyundai Motor.

About the Artist

Barbara Kruger (b. 1945, Newark, NJ) works with pictures and words in the hopes of revealing and resisting socially ingrained assumptions about power: how it determines who lives who lives and who dies, who is healed and who is housed, who speaks and who is silenced, who is visible and who is marginalized. Since the late 1970s, she has juxtaposed text and image to expose the machinations of capitalism, politics, and gender—as well as our own positions, motivations, and beliefs—that often go unquestioned. Solo exhibitions include AMOREPACIFIC Museum of Art, Seoul (2019), National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2016), High Line Art, New York (2016), Modern Art Oxford (2014), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2013), Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2011), Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2010), Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (2005), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2000), Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1999), Serpentine Gallery, London (1994) and Kunsthalle Basel (1984). Group shows include those at Fondazione Marz, Turin (2020), Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2018), V-A-C Foundation, Palazzo delle Zattere, Venice (2017), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014), Biennale of Sydney (2014), Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2013), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2010), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010, 2009, 2007), Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2006), Tate Liverpool (2002), Centre Pompidou, Paris (1988), Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York (1987), and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1985).

About the Program

The Hyundai Project: Art + Technology

The Hyundai Project: Art + Technology at LACMA supports exhibitions and programs that spark dialogue, inspire empathy, and encourage collaboration beyond boundaries. As a first step towards this goal, we supported the museum’s acquisition of major works by Robert Irwin and James Turrell, two now legendary artists who were members of LACMA’s original Art and Technology Lab program (1967–1971). Continuing its mission, The Hyundai Project: Art + Technology at LACMA presents exhibitions that illuminate the profound interplay between art and technology, underscoring their pivotal role in comprehending humanity and shaping our encounters with the future.

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