Barbara Madsen is an artist and Associate Professor at Mason Gross School of the Arts. Madsen is known for her work in photography, print, sculpture, and installation. Her vast collections of industrial matter — spark plugs, machine parts, welding masks, light switches, rubber, plastic, prosthetics, artificial eyes, and much more – serve as the stimulus for the work. Her art employs the tropes of modernism, popular culture and objects that are consumed and discarded.Post September 11th, Madsen’s anti-bigotry billboard, “Eye 4 Eye = Blind,” was raised above buildings in Jersey City and “Revenge Never Ends” was pasted behind NJPAC in Newark. In 2004 she was awarded a Puffin Foundation Fellowship for three banners in Washington D.C. Madsen’s banner of the smiley face with its mouth wide open, like Munch’s scream and gas mask, was hoisted over the façade of the Corcoran Museum of Art at 1661 Pennsylvania Avenue, across the lawn from the White House.
Her solo exhibtions include the New York Public Library, Pratt Institute, Tyler School of Art, Millersville University, St. Lawrence University, Miami University, University of Delaware, Palacky University-CZ, Graficki Collective-Serbia, Scuolal Internazionale di Grafica-Venice, ULUS Gallery-Serbia, Edinburgh Print Gallery-Scotland. Madsen designed the set for Leopold and Loeb at the Lowry Lab Theater in Minneapolis. Madsen has had over 100 national group exhibitions including the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC and internatioanlly in Japan, China, Belgium, France, Spain, Serbia, Germany, Poland, India, United Arab Emirates.