Barbara Kruger and Analia Saban
Currency of Language

Conceptual artist Barbara Kruger (American, born January 26, 1945) is best known for her layered photographs, featuring provocative statements on issues surrounding commercial culture, feminism, and identity politics. Kruger was born in Newark, NJ, and studied art at Syracuse University, the School of Visual Arts, and Parson’s School of Design, under Diane Arbus. She spent several years working as a graphic designer and artistic director for publications, such as Mademoiselle, House and Garden, and Aperture.

At the same time she gained critical recognition for her photographic and screen-printed works, in which she layered found images from commercial sources and overlaid them with short, challenging phrases, such as “You are a captive audience,” and “I shop therefore I am”. Kruger’s work powerfully examines individual participation within consumer and media culture, and provides a forceful feminist critique. She has exhibited her work at the Museum of Modern Art and the International Center for Photography in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the National Center for Contemporary Art in Grenoble, France, and at the Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland, among other institutions. Her work has also been reproduced on billboards, t-shirts, and other public venues. Kruger currently lives and works in Los Angeles and New York.

Shown in this exhibition, is Untitled (We Will No Longer Be Seen and Not Heard), a series comprised of nine panels that conveys a message of linguistic and social resistance.  The nine images are arranged in a specific grid and spell out the phrase ‘We Will No Longer Be Seen and Not Heard’. 

 

Although suggesting the hand-based gestures of American Sign Language, the poses in the panels do not actually correspond to the ASL system. 

 

The work shows how mass-media imagery can be a powerful means of communication.  In this series, Kruger clearly mixes sign language, gesture and words to enforce or counteract meaning.

 

Also, a Conceptual artist, Analia Saban  (born 1980, Buenos Aires) explores the intersections and overlap between traditional media and new technologies, disrupting conventional techniques of drawing, painting, weaving, and sculpture to probe the capacity of an object and the myriad meanings found within its form.

Her work is in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Centre Pompidou; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; Fonds regional d’Art contemporain (FRAC) d’Auvergne, France; the Hammer Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, among others. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2019) and the Blaffer Art Museum, Austin, Texas (2016) have both presented solo exhibitions of Saban’s work. Saban lives and works in Los Angeles. 

Shown in the exhibition are two of Analia Saban’s collaborations with Mixografia, a LA fine arts printer and publisher based in Los Angeles.  The Mixografia  printing process expands the realm of printmaking by incorporating dimensionality and relief into a two-dimensional medium.  Both series have textual elements and play upon Saban’s manipulation of material, while elevating and referencing the disposable, the trite, and the repetitive while contrasting  the precision and uniformity associated with the methods of their mass production,  into the realm of art.

The first series depicts garment labels reconstituted as handmade paper prints, dramatically scaled up from their original size.  This series of prints depicts in startling realism a collection of garment tags, the kind one finds in the neck of one’s shirt or other piece of clothing.  The heightened scale accentuates their subtleties and imperfections, contrasting the precision and uniformity associated with the methods of their mass production. A human touch is evident – the labels are worn down, and frayed at the edges.  Furthermore, the wording within the labels calls attention to the larger context of textile manufacturing and the global trade of goods.  These textual elements communicate information in their limited space, presented in consideration of a global mass market that will receive them.   On a deeper level and daily awareness, these tags tell a series of true narratives about labor, global trade and workers’ rights.

The second series examines the physical qualities of the common plastic bag .  Again, through a collaboration with Mixografia, the artist breathes new life into plastic grocery bags while highlighting their vapidity as an aging commercial technology. In this series of prints, each bag is printed with a different design that varies on the theme of Thank You, Have a Nice Day, a slogan which has become iconic to the image of the disposable plastic shopping bag.  Saban’s examination emphasizes their triteness through repetition. 

Both series, printed in high relief on handmade cotton paper, plays upon Ms Saban’s manipulation of material, while elevating the disposable into the realm of art.

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About 

Conceptual artist Barbara Kruger (American, born January 26, 1945) is best known for her layered photographs, featuring provocative statements on issues surrounding commercial culture, feminism, and identity politics. Kruger was born in Newark, NJ, and studied art at Syracuse University, the School of Visual Arts, and Parson’s School of Design, under Diane Arbus. She spent several years working as a graphic designer and artistic director for publications, such as Mademoiselle, House and Garden, and Aperture.

At the same time she gained critical recognition for her photographic and screenprinted works, in which she layered found images from commercial sources and overlaid them  with short, challenging phrases,  such  as  “You  are  a captive audience,” and
“I shop therefore I am”. Kruger’s work powerfully examines individual participation within consumer and media culture, and provides a forceful feminist critique. She has exhibited her work at the  Museum 

Barbara Kruger

of Modern Art and the International Center for Photography in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the National Center for Contemporary Art in Grenoble, France, and at the Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland, among other institutions. Her work has also been reproduced on billboards, t-shirts, and other public venues. Kruger currently lives and works in Los Angeles and New York.

Analia saban artist
About 

Born in 1980 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Saban currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She received a BFA in Visual Arts from Loyola University in New Orleans in 2001, followed by an MFA in New Genres at the University of California in Los Angeles in 2005.  Saban’s works are represented in the collections of the Hammer Museum at UCLA, Museum of Contemporary Art, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles; Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College in New York; Norton Museum of Art in Florida; Centre Pompidou in Paris, and Fundación Proa in Buenos Aires, among others.

Analia Saban