Since I began making art over 30 years ago, I have used image and text—often laced with humor—to express social and political commentary. My media include sculpture, painting, digital prints and artist’s books. Following its inception in 1981, my Illustrated History Series has chronicled some of the comic absurdities of contemporary American life in the form of postcard folios, broadsides and poster installations.
My work covers a wide range of issues—the travails of air travel, ecological disasters in the making, war, the narrowing of individual freedoms, corporate exploitation of workers, co-optation of feminism by the fashion/plastic surgery industries and consumerism. My more personal works are embodiments of an ongoing inner dialogue.
1974 Credential Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, CA
1972 Credential University of California, Los Angeles
1970 BA Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
1966 Studies The Art Institute of Chicago, IL
Mariona Barkus has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States as well as internationally in Ireland, Japan, Korea, Lithuania and Spain. Recent exhibitions include In Black and Whiteat El Camino College, Torrance, CA; Politick at Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery; Then and Now: Women Artists of Southern California at Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Subvertisements at California State University, Northridge; No Human Being Is Illegal at Self Help Graphics and Show and Tell at Zimmer Museum, both in Los Angeles.
Barkus’ work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Center for the Study of Political Graphics, Getty Research Institute, and UCLA in Los Angeles; Franklin Furnace Collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; Indiana-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, IN; and Yale University Art Museum, New Haven, CT, among others.
Her work has been reviewed in numerous catalogues and periodicals including the Los Angeles Times and Artweek. Some of the books featuring her work are Crossing Over: Feminism and Art of Social Concern by Arlene Raven; Other Visions, Other Voices by Paul Von Blum with a forward by Lucy Lippard; Artists’ Books: A Critical Anthology and Sourcebook by The Visual Studies Workshop; and, most recently, From Site to Vision: the Woman’s Building in Contemporary Culture, an e-book edited by Sondra Hale and Terry Wolverton.
Barkus has received grants from the City of Los Angeles, Women’s Studio Workshop and New York State Arts Council.