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Over the past four decades, the American artist Barbara Kasten (b. 1936, lives and works in Chicago) has created an impressive body of work, at the center of which are her seemingly abstract photographs. With the exhibition Barbara Kasten. Works, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg presents a comprehensive overview of her oeuvre for the first time in Europe—from her early sculptures and photograms via her constructivist photographs to her most recent video installations.

After Barbara Kasten had already dealt with ideas of the Bauhaus, textile sculptures, and alternative photographic techniques in the 1960s, her central concern is now the transference of the medium of photography into a painterly concept. For her, the most important media are light and shadow. Within her series of Constructs, created between 1979 and 1986, everyday materials are first staged in a black-and-white aesthetic and later illuminated with color, thus relieving them of their prosaic character. Parallel to this, she began her analog photo series of Architectural Sites (1984–87). For real existing buildings such as the World Financial Center or the Whitney Museum of American Art, she used photography to build a platform of sorts on site, in order to stage the buildings in surreal light. The results are large-format, almost abstract, intensely colored photographs in which illusion and reality merge with one another. In the last few years, she has also created video works with the intention of enhancing spatial illusion by incorporating real objects.

Barbara Kasten’s oeuvre represents a unique position in the international artworld. In the age of Photoshop and the seemingly unlimited possibilities of digital image manipulation, her works stand for an avant-garde position of the analog.

 Curator: Andreas Beitin

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication in English and German (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König; design: Ta-Trung, Berlin) with texts by Andreas Beitin, Carol S. Eliel, Elena Engelbrechter, Anette Hüsch, Alex Klein, and Magdalena Kröner, as well as an interview with Barbara Kasten.

Videos

Videos

Photos

Photos
Barbara Kasten Collision 5T 2016 klein

Barbara Kasten, Collision 5 T, 2016, Digital Chromogenic Print © Barbara Kasten, Courtesy die Künstlerin, Bortolami, New York, Kadel Willborn Gallery, Düsseldorf und Thomas Dane Gallery, London

Barbara Kasten, Collision 5 T, 2016, Digital Chromogenic Print © Barbara Kasten, Courtesy die Künstlerin, Bortolami, New York, Kadel Willborn Gallery, Düsseldorf und Thomas Dane Gallery, London

Barbara Kasten Architectural Site 8 1986

Barbara Kasten, Architectural Site 8, December 21, 1986, Cibachrome © Barbara Kasten, Courtesy the artist

Barbara Kasten, Architectural Site 8, December 21, 1986, Cibachrome © Barbara Kasten, Courtesy the artist

2017 Progression One

Barbara Kasten, Progression One, 2017, Digital Chromogenic Print, fluorescent plexiglass © Barbara Kasten, Courtesy the artist and Bortolami Gallery, New York

Barbara Kasten, Progression One, 2017, Digital Chromogenic Print, fluorescent plexiglass © Barbara Kasten, Courtesy the artist and Bortolami Gallery, New York

Barbara Kasten Sideways Corner 2016

Barbara Kasten, Sideways/Corner, 2016, Video (digital) © Barbara Kasten, Courtesy the artist and Kadel Willborn, Düsseldorf

Barbara Kasten, Sideways/Corner, 2016, Video (digital) © Barbara Kasten, Courtesy the artist and Kadel Willborn, Düsseldorf

Barbara Kasten Triptych I 1983 HI gesamt

Barbara Kasten, Triptych I, 1983, Polaroid Polacolor, Collection Monika Schnetkamp © Barbara Kasten, Courtesy the artist and Collection Monika Schnetkamp, Düsseldorf

Barbara Kasten, Triptych I, 1983, Polaroid Polacolor, Collection Monika Schnetkamp © Barbara Kasten, Courtesy the artist and Collection Monika Schnetkamp, Düsseldorf

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Sammlung Goetz