Conceptual Art Posters

What is Conceptual Art?

Conceptual art is art in which the concept(s) or idea(s) involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns ( The artistic appeal of the finished work is not as important as the meaning behind the work. Conceptual artists are more concerned with the message they are trying to convey. The beauty of the finished piece has minimal significance in conceptual art.

Fountain by Duchamp

This is a "readymade" sculpture that could be considered conceptual art. Duchamp was trying to question the concept of "what is art" and if "readymades" can be considered art. The presentation of the sculpture is not as important as the concept behind the art.
Fountain by Duchamp

Barbara Kruger


Barbara Kruger (born January 26, 1945) is an American conceptual artist. Much of her work consists of black-and-white photographs overlaid with declarative captions—in white-on-red Futura Bold Oblique or Helvetica Ultra Condensed.

Much of Kruger's work engages the merging of found photographs from existing sources with pithy and aggressive text that involves the viewer in the struggle for power and control that her captions speak to. In their trademark white letters against a slash of red background, some of her instantly recognizable slogans read “I shop therefore I am,” and “Your body is a battleground." Much of her text questions the viewer about feminism, consumerism, and individual autonomy and desire, although her black-and-white images are culled from the mainstream magazines that sell the very ideas she is disputing.

Kruger juxtaposes her imagery and text containing criticism of sexism and the circulation of power within cultures is a recurring motif in Kruger's work. The text in her works of the 1980s includes such phrases as "Your comfort is my silence" (1981), "You invest in the divinity of the masterpiece" (1982), and "I shop therefore I am" (1987). 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." A larger category that threads through her work is the appropriation and alteration of existing images. The importance of appropriation art in contemporary culture lay in its ability to play with preponderant imagistic and textual conventions: to mash up meanings and create new ones.

This is a presentation that illustrates, analyzes, and evaluates the work of Barbara Kruger.

Teacher Examples

Student Examples


Project Requirements

  1. Choose an issue concerning today’s society. The issue must be appropriate for school. You should feel strongly about the issue you choose.
  2. Write a paragraph of your opinion on your chosen topic. Include why this topic is important to you and any important stance you may have on the topic.
  3. Draw 3 sketches of poster ideas for your chosen topic. You will not be graded on your drawing abilities. However, remember you can use only your photographs. You must be able to take photographs of the objects included in your design.
  4. Take at least 15 photographs for your poster designs. Try different views of the same object.
  5. Using your photographs, develop 2 posters displaying your issue. Make sure your images are in black and white. You need to include words over your images. The words may be in red. Carefully place your words over the images. The words should attract attention, but they should not take away from the images.
  6. You can juxtapose several photographs together, or use only one. You make edit your photograph to help illustrate your issue. You are the artist. You decide how you want to execute the poster. BE CREATIVE!!!! Your first and second ideas may not be the best. As an artist, you are always searching for the best way to execute an idea.
  7. Write an artist statement for each poster. The artist statement should tell the viewer about your artwork. You might want to include your inspiration, where you got your idea, your message, and the materials you used. The viewer should be able to understand a little more about the piece after reading your statement. Type and print both statements when complete. Make sure to proofread and edit.