Feb 4–Aug 16, 2015

Barbara Kasten: Stages

About

Barbara Kasten: Stages is the first major survey of the work of artist Barbara Kasten. Widely recognized for her photographs, since the 1970s Kasten has developed her expansive practice through the lens of many different disciplines, including sculpture, painting, theater, textile, and installation. Spanning her nearly five-decade engagement with abstraction, light, and architectonic form, this exhibition situates Kasten’s practice within current conversations around sculpture and photography. Kasten’s interest in the interplay between three- and two-dimensional forms, her engagement with staging and the role of the prop, her cross-disciplinary process, and her new approaches to abstraction and materiality are all intensely relevant to the present artistic moment, resulting in a new generation of artists who have drawn inspiration from Kasten’s aesthetic and method.

Kasten’s work has roots in the unique and provocative intersection of Bauhaus-influenced pedagogy in the US, the California Light and Space movement, and postmodernism. Taking its cue from the multiple ways in which Kasten herself has staged her work, both in the studio and on site, the exhibition makes links between her more well-known photographic series of studio constructions and architectural interventions and her earliest fiber sculptures, mixed media works, cyanotype prints, and forays into set design. In addition, Kasten will create a new site-specific installation in the ICA galleries.
Barbara Kasten, 1985Barbara Kasten, 1982Barbara Kasten, 1986Barbara Kasten, 1975Barbara Kasten, 1988Barbara Kasten, 2012Barbara Kasten, 1983

Organized by Alex Klein, the Dorothy and Stephen R. Weber (CHE’60) Program Curator. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication that includes a biography of the artist, new scholarly essays by the curator as well as by art historians Alex Kitnick and Jenni Sorkin, and a conversation between Kasten and artist Liz Deschenes.
Barbara Kasten, Axis, installation view (2015)Barbara Kasten, Axis, installation view (2015)Barbara Kasten: Stages, installation view (2015)Barbara Kasten: Stages, installation view (2015)Barbara Kasten: Stages, installation view (2015)Barbara Kasten: Stages, installation view (2015)Barbara Kasten: Stages, installation view (2015)Barbara Kasten: Stages, installation view (2015)

Opening and Walkthrough: Winter 2015Kasten Considered: Materials and Margins, with Sarah Crowner, Christine Poggi, and Jenni SorkinCritical Dialogues: Melissa Meyer at Tyler School of ArtKasten Considered: Postmodernism in the Present, Peter Shire and Martino Gamper in conversation Kasten in Context: New Peers: Barbara Kasten in conversation with David Hartt, Takeshi Murata, and Sara VanDerBeekCoffee & ConversationCoffee and Conversation: Sound in Space, Sound from SpaceCoffee & Conversation: Collaborative PedagogyCoffee & Conversation: Ghosts of ModernismSpring Opening Celebration and WalkthroughBook Launch: Barbara Kasten: Stages at Bortolami Gallery, New YorkICA Awarded PCAH Project Grant Season Preview: Winter exhibitions open Wednesday, February 4Barbara Kasten: Stages preview in ArtforumPreorder Barbara Kasten: Stages and Traces in the Dark exhibition catalogues now!Limited edition, vintage, signed Barbara Kasten posters available nowBarbara Kasten: Stages receives widespread critical acclaim in Aesthetica, Artforum, Art in America, BOMB, and more“Filled with meaning and beauty”—Penn student Caroline Simon reflects on her ICA summer internshipHyperallgeric: “Barbara Kasten’s Slippery Analog Photography”2014–15 ExhibitionsBarbara Kasten: Stages

Featured Works

Installation Photos

Wed, Apr 22, 2015, 8:56PM
Spring Opening Celebration and Walkthrough
Sun, Mar 1, 2015, 2PM
Coffee & Conversation
Wed, Feb 4, 2015, 8:56PM
Opening and Walkthrough: Winter 2015
Books & Editions
11.75" x 9"
ISBN 9781938922886
Publication Date
2015
Designer
Mark Owens
Publisher
Graham Foundation and D.A.P.
Since the 1970s Barbara Kasten has developed her expansive practice of photography through the lens of many different disciplines, including sculpture, painting, theater, textile, and installation. Spanning her nearly five-decade engagement with abstraction, light, and architectonic form, this publication situates Kasten’s practice within current conversations around sculpture and photography. Barbara Kasten (born 1936, Chicago; lives Chicago) trained as a painter and textile artist, receiving her MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC) in Oakland in 1970. There she studied with pioneering fiber artist Trude Guermonprez, a former teacher at Black Mountain College and an associate of Anni Albers. In 1971 Kasten received a Fulbright to travel to Poznań, Poland, to work with noted sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz. During the 1980s she embarked on her Construct series, which incorporates life-size elements such as metal, wire, mesh, and mirrors into installations produced specifically for the camera. Kasten was one of the first artists to be invited by Polaroid to use its new large format film, and it was with this that she made many of her best known works, her palette becoming bolder in response to the lush, saturated quality of the medium. In the mid-1980s she stepped out of the studio and began working with large architectural spaces that were symbolic of both economic and cultural capital. Barbara Kasten: Stages is the first major survey of her work. The publication includes a biography of the artist, a conversation between Kasten and artist Liz Deschenes, and new scholarly essays by curator Alex Klein, and art historians Alex Kitnick and Jenni Sorkin.
$45, ISBN 9783037644102
Publication Date
2015
Designer
Mark Owens
Publisher
JRP|Ringier in collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Art
Barbara Kasten produced this limited edition poster in 1988 and signed it in 2015. It depicts her Cibachrome work
Architectural Site 17, August 29, 1988, 1988. The photograph depicts the High Museum of Art in Atlanta designed by architect Richard Meier. Poster dimensions: 31 x 27 in. For Printed Matter inquiries please contact Caitlin Palmer, Office Coordinator, at caitlinp@ica.upenn.edu. Barbara Kasten: Stages
$50.00
Publication Date
2015
Barbara Kasten produced this limited edition poster in 1986 and signed it in 2015. It depicts her Cibachrome work Architectural Site 10, December 22, 1986, 1986. The photograph depicts the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles designed by architect Arata Isozaki. Poster dimensions: 24 x 35 in. For Printed Matter inquiries please contact Caitlin Palmer, Office Coordinator, at caitlinp@ica.upenn.edu Barbara Kasten: Stages
$50.00
Publication Date
2015
Major support for Barbara Kasten: Stages has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Nancy E. and Leonard M. Amoroso Exhibition Fund, Pamela Toub Berkman & David J. Berkman, Bortolami, the Carol T. & John G. Finley Fund, Kadel Willborn Gallery, the Marjorie E. and Michael J. Levine Fund, Toby Devan Lewis, Amanda & Andrew Megibow, Stephanie B. & David E. Simon, Babette L. & Harvey A. Snyder, and Meredith L. & Bryan S.Verona.