The Broad museum in Los Angeles has several major works by the influential American artist Barbara Kruger in its permanent collection. On a recent visit, we saw two of these works currently on view. But given recent political events in the United States and United Kingdom, we saw these artworks, pictured here, in a newer light. Their messages resonated with greater relevance than ever before.
The paintings amount to commentary on the issue of women’s rights, namely abortion rights, and monarchy. Both topics were hot in the news in 2022. In the States, court rulings changed the legal circumstances for abortion. In the U.K., Queen Elizabeth passed away raising public questions again about the role and relevancy of the monarchy.
Kruger’s “Untitled” painting, otherwise known as “Your Body is a Battleground,” was a potent, powerful and important statement in the 1980’s when it was created. More so now in 2022, when for the first time in decades the critically important right for a women to choose to have a safe abortion is under threat in America.