Photo by: S.Dietrich


Barbara Kasten experiments with ways to integrate photography with other disciplines such as painting or sculpture. The effects she creates in her abstract photographs through the interplay of colour, form and light pose questions about the nature of perception.

Among Kasten’s recent solo exhibitions are Parallels, Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf, Germany (2018) and Barbara Kasten: Stages, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago and Museum of Contemporary Art, Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles (2015–2016).

Kasten’s work has also been shown in a number of group exhibitions, including Generations: Female Artists in Dialogue, Part 1, Sammlung Goetz, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2018); Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art, Tate Modern, London (2018); The Polaroid Project, Amon Carter Museum of Art, Fort Worth, US (2017); Leaving the Still Image, Farewell Photography Biennial, Wilheim-Hack-Musuem, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany (2017); Celebrating Photography at the National Gallery of Art: Recent Gifts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2015); Extended Compositions, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2015); IMAGINE REALITY. RAY 2015 Fotografieprojekte Frankfurt/RheinMain, Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt (2015) and Photo Lab, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, US (2015).

Kasten’s work is part of the collections at the Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; International Center of Photography, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and Tate Modern, London, among others.

Kasten received a BFA from the University of Arizona, Tucson, US (1959) and an MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, US (1970). She was born in 1936 in Chicago, where she continues to live and work.

SAF participation:
Sharjah Biennial 14

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Kasten, Barbara

Barbara Kasten Various works (1986–2017)

Spanning nearly five decades, Barbara Kasten’s conceptual practice has centred around photography and an exploration of the nature of perception, often manifested through the interplay of two- and three-dimensional spaces.