Barbara Kruger – one of my heroines of the art world – has a new exhibition of work, ‘Belief + Doubt’ showing at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC from 20th August this year until 2014. It’s an installation of text printed vinyl that covers the lower-level lobby entry to the museum bookstore, roughly 6,700 square feet of surface, that includes; walls, floor and escalator sides. The work surrounds viewers with lettering up to 12 feet high in a high contrast color scheme that has become Kruger’s trademark – red, white and black.
According to the museums curators the work speaks to the social relations and networks of power that define daily life at a time when the value of certitude is taken for granted, a series of questions; Who is beyond the law? Who is free to choose? Who speaks? Who is silent? While by the museum bookshop questions explore desire and consumption; You want it. You buy it. You forget it.
Assistant Curator Melissa Ho said of the artists work:
Kruger’s command of architectural space and her ability to engage an audience amidst busy, lived experience make her the ideal artist to work with this site. ‘Belief+Doubt’ takes advantage of the constant movement through the lobby. As visitors descend the escalators, they are surrounded by language that beckons from all sides but only fully reveals itself as they pace and circulate through the entire space.
If you’re in Washington DC between now and 2014 be sure to go – Kruger is one of the most influential artists of the last 30 years and it’s not oftern you get to see such a large representation of her work.
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