Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Typography as Art: The Work of Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger

Abuse of Power Should Come as No suprise
a positive attitude means all the difference in the world
 exceptional people deserve special concessions
abstraction is a type of decadence
 It's better to be naive than jaded

                                 Jenny Holzer                


 Jenny Holzer is a conceptual artist who analyzes language and words. She is part of a group of feminist artists who emerged during 1980 that wanted to use words and visuals together to make a narrative or commentary on society. She is part of a movement that includes such artists as Barbara Kruger and Cindy Sherman. Most of Holzer’s work is large scale public art that is promoted on signs, billboards, on buildings, and in flashing electronic LED displays. Her work is created for a “non-art” environment.
Holzer’s work first appeared in public in her now well known works called Truisms. The Truismswere created 1977-1979 and appeared anonymously on large sheets with black script that she pasted to buildings and other structures in Manhattan. Eventually she printed The Truisms on t-shirts and then on public benches. Many of these messages tended to comment on her preoccupation with sex, death, and war.
 Holzer’s use of fragmented unexpected use of words culminated in a 1989 Guggenheim exhibition. She was the first woman to represent the United States in the American Pavilion at the 1990 Venice Biennale. Jenny Holzer been said to have created a public address system that questions our willingness to absorb messages as it examines the very voice of authority-authority’s potential to be at once straightforward and ambiguous, comforting and threatening.”

“Jenny Holzer.”, Web. 1 Mar. 2012. <!/jennyholzer >.

“Jenny Holzer. Art 21, Web. 29 Feb. 2012. < >.

Jenny Holzer. com, Web. 29 Feb. 2012. < >. 

Jenny Holzer. Cheim &, Web. 28. Feb. 2012. < >.

  Joselit, David, Simon, Joan, Salecl. Jenny Holzer. Phaidon Press : London, 1998. Print.

  Oliver, William. Dazed, Web. 2 Mar. 2012.

       < >.

Books the Central Library owns about Jenny Holzer


Barbara Kruger


I shop therefore I am
Your body is a battleground
Tell us something we don't know
Use only as directed
Memory is your image of perfection
When I hear the word culture I take out my checkbook

Barbara Kruger like jenny Holzer is an American conceptual artist. Most of her work uses bold words in black, white, and red and unlike Holzer, Kruger uses images to convey her messages. Kruger focuses on gender and money issues in society. Her words of often accusatory and she tends to use pronouns such as "you", "your", "I", "we", and "they".
She was highly influenced by Marvin Israel a graphic designer at Harpers Bazaar in the 1960s that encouraged her to assemble a portfolio, which resulted in jobs at MademoiselleHouse and Garden, and eventually Aperture. Kruger had a sharp eye for images and words and learned to combine them to have the most visual impact. She eventually turned her eye to art in the 1969. Lucky for her Pop art
and Minimalism were on the wane and Conceptual Art was beginning to flourish.
Language and words were of primary concern for the conceptual artists of the 1960s and 1970s. Words became the art, and artists like Kruger used words in place of the traditional brush and canvas. Kruger took this concept and made use of it with appropriation. In the art world, appropriation is the borrowing of something to make something new. Kruger used existing photos and images and collaged them with bold words to make statements that were at times combative and attacking. With her words and images, Kruger becomes a social commentator.
Kruger’s trademark very often was bold white letters against a red ground juxtaposed over an image. Some of her most pieces contain very recognizable phrases such as, ““I shop therefore I am,” and “Your body is a battleground." She has said that "I work with pictures and words because they have the ability to determine who we are and who we aren’t." (wikipedia)
 "She had a retrospective show in 1999 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeleswhcich than was shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in 2000. "(wikipedia) She has shown at " at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And participated in the Whitney Biennial (1983, 1985, and 1987), Documenta 7 and 8 (1982 and 1987). She represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1982 and again participated in 2005.

     Barbara Kruger., Web. 2 Mar. 2012.

         < >.

     Barabara Kruger., Web. 2 Mar. 2012.
     Barbara Kruger. Art 21, Web. 29 Feb. 2012.


    Linker, Kate. Love for Sale. Harry N. Abrams. : New York, 1990. Print.


Books the Central Library owns about Barbara Kruger


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