Space as a stage of a changing reality is the central motif of Barbara Kasten’s photographs and film installations. Barbara Kasten’s works are produced in an “interdisciplinary performance” between photography, sculpture, architecture, and painting. Since the 1970s, Barbara Kasten has been constructing expansive installations made of architectural “props” such as glass, mirrors, or wood constructions in front of the camera for her abstract “photographs.” These theatrical arrangements are restaged with colored light, an approach going back to Barbara Kasten’s roots as a painter and sculptor. During her sojourn in Germany in the 1960s, she intensively engaged with the Bauhaus and modernism’s notions of space, stage, and architecture. While living in Los Angeles in the early 1970s, the “Light and Space Movement” had an influence on her subsequent work. Barbara Kasten’s cross-genre practice, her continued use of analog photographic materials and her “predigital vision” heralding the digital image vocabulary as of Photoshop or 3D rendering influenced a new generation of contemporary artists.
Barbara Kasten’s (US 1936) works are part of institutional collections such as Museum of Modern Art New York, Centre Pompidou Paris, Tate Modern London, Hirshhorn Museum Washington, National Gallery of Victoria, Australia or Museum of Fine Arts Houston. The Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg features her first institutional solo exhibition in 2020 and The Ingvild Goetz Collection in 2021. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Aspen Art Museum (2020/21) Philara Collection Düsseldorf (2018), The ICA Philadelphia, the MoCA Los Angeles and the Graham Foundation Chicago (2015-16). She has recently shown in renowned group exhibitions such as Sharjah Biennale 14, „Bauhaus and America“ at LWL - Landesmuseum Münster, „History of Photography“ at Sprengel Museum Hannover, „Shape of Light“ at Tate Modern London and „Color Mania“ at Fotomuseum Winterthur. Currently her works are on view at the exhibition „Women in Abstraction“ at Centre Pompidou, Paris.