Pictures and Promises



Pictures and Promises: A Display of Advertisings, Slogans, and Interventions was an exhibition curated by Barbara Kruger on display at The Kitchen from January 8–February 5, 1981, with an opening reception on January 10. The exhibition featured advertising in the form of newspaper ads, television commercials, posters, commercial photography, corporate insignia, and public signage—including advertisements from various companies such as Chase Bank, Campbell’s Soup, and Seagram’s—juxtaposed with work by artists such as Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, and Hans Haacke.


According to the press release, “the quotational qualities of these words and pictures remove them and their ‘originals’ from the seemingly ‘natural’ position within the flow of dominant social directives, into the realm of commentary.”


This exhibition included works by Dara Birnbaum, Victor Burgin, Martin Cohen, James Collins, Jimmy De Sana, Barbara Ess, Hans Haacke, Jenny Holzer, Jerry Kearns, Joseph Kosuth, Barbara Kruger, Elizabeth Kulos, Les Levine, Sherry Levine, Matt Mullican, Paul Outerbridge, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Klaus Staeck, John Stezaker, Andy Warhol, James Welling, Hannah Wilke, and Paul Wombell.


It featured advertisements from companies such as Arco, Collier’s Magazine, Dow Chemical, East London Health Project, Gentleman’s Quarterly, and Sony.



Supplemental Information

Artforum Review [PDF]
Press Release [PDF]
Exhibition Checklist [PDF]
View images for this event (3)

Similar Events

Women’s Work: A National Collection of Video by Women
Alicia Starr, Anita Thacher, Ardele Lister, Barbara Buckner, Barbara Sykes, Carol Goss, Cecilia Condig, Constance Coleman, Dara Birnbaum, Hilary Radner, Ida Applebroog, Jill Scott, Joan Giummo, Judith Barry, Kathryn Kanehiro, Marge Dean, Martha Gever, Martha Rosler, Mary Lucier, Melanie Sherwood, Micki McGee, Norie Sato, Renee Jensen, Shigeko Kubota, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Wendy Chambers
See More: Exhibitions, Film/Video, 1980s
View From a Volcano
Arthur Russell, Arto Lindsay, Beastie Boys, Bill T. Jones, Carolee Schneemann, Charlemagne Palestine, Charles Atlas, Christian Marclay, Cindy Sherman, Dara Birnbaum, Elizabeth Streb, Eric Bogosian, Gary Hill, George Lewis, Joan Jonas, John Miller, Karole Armitage, Laurie Anderson, Lawrence Weiner, Lucinda Childs, Matt Mullican, Meredith Monk, Mike Kelley, Philip Glass, Rhys Chatham, Robert Ashley, Robert Longo, Simone Forti, Sonic Youth, Steina and Woody Vasulka, Stuart Sherman, Talking Heads, Tony Conrad, Tony Oursler, Trisha Brown, Vito Acconci
See More: Exhibitions, Film/Video, 2010s
Extant Work
Bill Viola, Burt Barr, Carole Ann Klonarides, Dara Birnbaum, Deans Keppel, Ed Bowes, Eric Mitchell, George Kuchar, Gregory Battcock, Gretchen Bender, James Benning, James Nares, Joan Jonas, Joan Logue, John Lurie, Judith Barry, Ken Feingold, Ken Kobland, Lynda Benglis, Michael Owen, Michel Auder, Owen Land, Pat Hearn, Richard Foreman, Richard Serra, Robert Ashley, Robert Longo, Ron Clark, Shalom Gorewitz, Simone Forti, Steina and Woody Vasulka, Tony Oursler, Vito Acconci
See More: Film/Video, 1980s
Television Society Art
Amy Taubin, Annette Michelson, Benjamin Buchloh, Bertell Ollman, David Antin, David Cooper, Donald Burgy, Douglas Kellner, Emile de Antonio, Fredric Jameson, Hans Haacke, Herb Dordick, Jack Willis, James MacBean, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, John Berger, John Hanhardt, Jon Alpert, Julia Kristeva, Julia Lesage, Julianne Burton, Keith Sonnier, Laura Mulvey, Lawrence Weiner, Martha Rosler, Michael Snow, Peter Wollen, Philip Glass, Richard Foreman, Richard Serra, Robert Ashley, Ron Clark, Rosalind Krauss, Susan Sontag, Sylvere Lotringer, Terry Eagleton, Trisha Brown, Umberto Eco, Vito Acconci, Yvonne Rainer
See More: Lecture, 1980s