About the Photographer
American, b. 1945
Barbara Kruger's large, bold artworks assimilate information from the mass media in a critique of gender roles and power structures. With the graphic punch of strong reds and blacks, terse language and aggressive design confront the viewer with provocative ideas and witty reversals.
Developed by Y-Core, Chicago, for Liz Claiborne Corporation, Women's Work was a community-based arts program designed to draw attention to issues of concern to women and their families. With the goals of raising awareness about domestic violence and helping communities respond to the needs of its victims, "Women's Work" featured powerful and instructive images by Barbara Kruger, Susan Meiselas, Diane Tani, Carrie Mae Weems, and John Winet and Margaret Crane. Don't Die for Love was one of a number of pieces Kruger created for the project, and was displayed on nearly 200 billboards and transit shelters throughout San Francisco, Oakland, Miami, and Boston (not to mention its presence on cups and bags). Kruger, recognized for her boldly graphic combinations of text and images, has long produced work with political and feminist aims.
Born in 1945 in Newark, New Jersey, Barbara Kruger studied at Syracuse University and with Diane Arbus and Marvin Israel at the Parson's School of Design, New York. She worked in New York as a graphic designer before shifting to the art world in 1969. Kruger has created photographs, billboards, posters, book covers, and illustrations that have been widely exhibited and collected by such institutions as the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and Museum of Contemporary Art Sidney, Australia. Her video installation Twelve debuted at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in 2005, a few months after Kruger was honored at the 51st Venice Biennale with the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement. During her career she has served as editor, curator, and teacher, and is an accomplished writer as well. Kruger has been Professor of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego since 2002.