Barbara Kasten. Works
Expected Spring/Summer until November 08, 2020
Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsbur
Over the past five 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 photographs. The exhibition Barbara Kasten. Works presents a comprehensive museal overview of her work for the first time in Europe – from early sculptures and photograms via her constructivist photographs to the most recent video installations.
After Barbara Kasten had already dealt with ideas of the Bauhaus, with 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 illuminated with color, thus relieving them of their prosaic character.
Parallel to this, she began her 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 builds 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. While Barbara Kasten went outdoors to create her photographs for the Architectural Sites series, her latest works now also become three-dimensional themselves: By integrating real objects into her photographs, they are given a fascinating, relief-like surface.
In recent years, she also created constructivist video works, the large format projections of which evoke the illusion of space and at the same time testify to Barbara Kasten’s absolute contemporaneity. Barbara Kasten’s oeuvre represents a unique position in the international art world. 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, which is particularly inspiring for a younger generation of artists.