As part of the Winter Preview in the January 2015 print issue of Artforum, Critic in Residence Charlotte Cotton writes about Barbara Kasten.
“Barbara Kasten: Stages”
ICA - INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART, PHILADELPHIA
Through August 16
Curated by Alex Klein
A good survey exhibition is both thoughtful in its assessment of an artist’s contribution and timed to a moment in which the public is primed to consider it. “Barbara Kasten: Stages” promises to be both, as Kasten’s measured engagement with photographic, sculptural, and architectural ideas since the 1970s is an undeniable precedent and prompt for contemporary postdisciplinary art practices. Tracking the artist’s remarkable trajectory through Bauhausian pedagogy and fiber art in the ’60s, the California Light and Space movement in the ’70s, and postmodernism in the ’80s, and culminating with her stellar recent photographs and a site-specific video work, this exhibition animates and provides access to a protean four-decade-long practice. In the accompanying catalogue, the long-underrecognized artist remarks in conversation with artist Liz Deschenes—one of a generation of younger artists influenced by Kasten’s work—that she feels as if she has finally found her peers. A new round of conversations and exchanges is about to begin.
- Charlotte Cotton