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Which clippings match 'Barbara Kruger' keyword pg.1 of 1
15 FEBRUARY 2015

Smithsonian Libraries Artists' Books Collection Online

"Artists' books are works of art, like paintings or sculptures, but in book form. While book illustration has a much longer history, the book as art object is a product of the 20th century. Some of the early examples were created by Futurists and Dadaists in their politically–motivated pamphlets and magazines, by Fluxus artists in their happenings, and by conceptual artists' in their work to dematerialize the art object. Artists' books can also be unique creations undertaken with extreme care and attention to detail. Some are experimental and done by artists better known as painters or sculptors, as a way to extend their artistic practice. Many artists use the book format to create narratives to deal with difficult issues, with ideas that cannot be conveyed as clearly on a canvas or other medium. Some artist–made books illustrate the words of others, integrating art and literature. And some artists' books do not have words at all. As a work created by an artist, the nature, appearance and purpose, of an artist's book can be fundamentally different from what one might find on the shelves of the library.

Artists' books exist at the intersections of printmaking, photography, poetry, experimental narrative, visual arts, graphic design, and publishing. They have made a place for themselves in the collections of museums, libraries, and private collectors. They have caught the interest of art historians and critics writing about art, and there are numerous studio programs in art schools dedicated to the art of the book, ushering in new generations of artists making books."

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TAGS

20th century • art and literature • art object • artist-made books • artists books • artists making books • Barbara Krugerbook formbook formatbook publishing • cataloguer • cataloguing challenge • Claire Van Vliet • Cooper Hewitt Library • cross-institution collaboration • culture onlineDada • defy easy classification • Dibner Library • diorama • Ed Ruscha • experimental books • FluxusFuturism (art movement) • Georges Adeagbo • graphic designhappenings • Hirshhorn Museum • Ida Applebroog • illustrating the words of others • Joe Freedman • Julie Chen • Kara Walker • Laura Davidson • library catalogue • Luan Nel • museum collectionsnational cultural heritage online • National Museum of African Art • National Portrait Gallery Library • online resource • pamphlets • paper engineering • photographypoetry • politically motivated • pop-up booksprintmaking • Smithsonian American Art Museum • Smithsonian Design Library • Smithsonian LibrariesSol LeWitt • the art of the book • Thomas Parker Williams • unusual physical features • Virginia Flynn • visual arts • Warren M Robbins Library • William Kentridgeworks of artYoko Ono

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 JANUARY 2009

Is the Selfridges joke on us?

"The ads are the result of a collaboration between [Barbara Kruger], [Selfridges] and advertising agency Mother which has been going on for several years now.

Although Kruger has always remained tight–lipped about the deal, it's obvious what she gets out of this: what better setting for her slogans than a high temple to consumerism (with an eager congregation queuing outside from 5am)? As for Mother – well, this is what they do: archly ironic social commentary that amounts to 'anti–advertising'. The assumption is that the Selfridges customer is so post–modern and media–savvy that they're all in on the joke.

But what is the joke exactly? That shopping is an alienating process. To say, 'I shop, therefore I am' is to point out the emptiness at the core of the capitalist lifestyle. Take another Kruger slogan used by Selfridges: 'You want it, you buy it, you forget it.' Get it? It's like Gerald Ratner gone highbrow. The joke is on us. Selfridges is laughing at its customers. Only we can't help but laugh along, for fear of appearing unsophisticated; unmetropolitan. How very clever of them. But let's not worry about it too much. Just keep on shopping."
(Mark Hooper Thursday 27 December 2007)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
25 JANUARY 2009

Barbara Kruger: consumerism critic appropriated

Barbara "Kruger wouldn't like the idea that she incarnates the spirit of our time, the bourgeois bohemianism that David Brooks meanly calls "Boboism." She's against the commercial exploitation of anything, her many market tie–ins notwithstanding. If her work consciously advances a position, it's feminism. But although she's a feminist, she's also a theorist trained not to impose her values on other people. She doesn't like to be for things. Instead, she identifies herself with a stance: critical, suspicious, oppositional. Kruger has made a career out of denouncing oppressors, from anti–abortion agitators to wife–beaters, homophobics, racists, and the editors of glossy magazines."
(Judith Shulevitz, 19 July 2000)

[Photo of signage created through a collaboration between Barbara Kruger, Selfridges and advertising agency Mother.]

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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