In the News: Barbara Kasten: Stages at the ICA

11 Mar 2015


Barbara Kasten: Stages, 2015, installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), University of Pennsylvania. Photo by Constance Mensh. Courtesy of ICA.

Barbara Kasten: Stages at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania is the first major survey of Chicago-based artist Barbara Kasten. The exhibition presents nearly five decades of Kasten's sculptural photography, as well as her stage designs, installations, and a newly commissioned video and light sculpture. A companion semester-long colloquium for Philadelphia college students and several panel talks situate Kasten's practice within current conversations on postmodernism. Coming up on March 25, former Memphis Group member Peter Shire speaks with artist and designer Martino Gamper on Kasten and aesthetics. On view at the ICA through August 16, Barbara Kasten: Stages has received media attention from numerous outlets.

In a preview for Artforum, Charlotte Cotton heralds the exhibition as "thoughtful in its assessment of an artist's contribution and timed to a moment in which the public is primed to consider it...this exhibition animates and provides access to a protean four-decade-long practice."

Focusing on the artist's architectural methods in photography, Hannah Martin for Architectural Digest provides background on architectural influences like the Notre Dame du Haut, LACMA, and the High Museum—resulting in "mashups of color, shape, and shadow...sculptural assemblages."

PIN-UP Magazine presents a diverse gallery of images and says of the show, "Barbara Kasten is finally getting her place in the spotlight."

"Pushing her work forward, she is constantly folding older concerns into new contexts, as energized by the ideas and innovations of her younger artistic peers as they are by hers," says ArtDaily of the artist.

Calling the exhibition "long overdue," Sight Unseen marvels at the cultural relevance of Kasten's work today: "Constructs blurred the line between object and image and set the stage for nearly every photo shoot you see on blogs like this one today."

For Broad Street Review, Pamela J. Forsythe calls Kasten's works "strong, gorgeous landscapes...a mirror suspended between artist and viewer, ambiguous and probing."

Read more from Kasten herself in Artforum and Art in America, where she speaks about her influences and the variety of forms presented in the ICA show.