new-york

Barbara Kasten

Barbara Kasten’s elaborate photographic interpretations of prominent buildings require a daunting amount of research and preparation. Her strategy is first to select a building and identify one of its public areas. She studies, observes, draws, and begins to envision a particular photographic occurrence in that space. Aided by props such as mirrors and gels, she uses photography to expose an alternative, non-iconic dimension of the building that is ostensibly her subject. While the residuals of the process—the photographs—are frequently fascinating, I was far more intrigued by the artist’s theatrical process itself and by her challenging ideas about architecture.

For Architectural Site #17, 1988, an interpretation of Richard Meier’s High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Kasten made outlandish adjustments to Meier’s white space. Colored gels turned the stark, inclining ramp into a shocking pink

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