Barbara Kasten

 Hannah Hoffman, Los Angeles, and Bortolami, New York


Barbara Kasten, Intervention, 2018, Three Steel platforms, six aluminum tables, and six acrylic beams112 x 168 x 54 in (284.5 x 426.7 x 137.2cm). Courtesy of the artist, Bortolami Gallery, New York, and Hannah Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: David T

From an early age, Barbara Kasten (b. 1936, Chicago; lives in Chicago) understood the importance of the historical avant-garde, in particular women artists involved in the Bauhaus and Constructivism who were often overshadowed by their male counterparts.

Kasten’s early photograms and constructed photographs pay homage to pioneering modernists but always pushed the boundaries of the medium, extending it sculpturally and performatively. Born out of a residency hosted by the Department of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology, with its trademark Crown Hall designed by Mies Van der Rohe, Kasten created a sculptural installation out of steel desk frameworks, colored plexiglass, and gelled lights.

This commissioned work continued her dialogue with Van der Rohe and the multidisciplinary artist Moholy Nagy. The sculpture was later reconceived and presented at the 2015 Chicago Architecture biennial. Given new life for Frieze Los Angeles, Kasten’s Intervention brings the artist back to the city where she lived and worked for over a decade, and represents her interest in exposing the mechanisms of pictorial and filmic production.