3 & 11 Duke Street, St James’s, SW1Y 6BN, London, United Kingdom
Open: Tue-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat noon-6pm
Fri 10 Mar 2023 to Fri 5 May 2023
Tue-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat noon-6pm
Artist: Barbara Kasten
11 Duke Street, St James’s, London SW1
For her second solo exhibition at Thomas Dane Gallery – Present Continuous – Barbara Kasten (b. 1936, Chicago) presents works from four distinct recent series, each exploring the language of geometry and grids. Grids that delineate space, create barriers or describe surfaces, but are seemingly without mass or density.
Dominating the centre of the main gallery is the floor based sculptural work, PARALLELS I - a stack of coloured, rectangular, perspex beams lying on their sides. Architectural in form and scale and resonant of a classical ruin the object creates a pool of coloured light around it cast by the surface of the different coloured columns. The work is largely immaterial: the illuminated edges of the perspex delineating the hollow shape of the columns, filled only with light.
Indeed by colouring light Kasten makes it visible. In her PROGRESSION series shards of coloured perspex emerge from the surface of a photographic image. Light, both recorded in the photograph and filtered through the sculptural surface, intersects in real time in an unpredictable kaleidoscope.
Kasten also creates and defines space using grids to construct weightless sculptural forms in her SHIELD and PLAN works. Here found industrial metal grids of rebar are used to mark out boundaries, simultaneously creating both a barrier and an entrance into the works. The PLAN series presents photographs of sheets and curves of the grids printed on linen and stretched on painting stretchers. The curves and planes of the rebar come in and out of focus across the surface of the work. An extreme oblique perspective gives the vertiginous feeling of towering skyscrapers and adds to a confusing sense of abstraction and depth to the flat surface of the sepia-toned image.
In her SHIELD series the grid breaks free from the work to create a floating cage in front of it. This barrier both conceals and activates the surface of the cyanotype image behind, obscuring and casting shadows across it. As with the PROGRESSIONS there is an unstable aspect to the work that is created live in front of the viewer with a fluctuating play of light and shadows.
Barbara Kasten was born in 1936 in Chicago IL, where she currently lives and works. Her work has been exhibited widely across the US and Europe. Most recently, Kasten was the subject of a survey titled Barbara Kasten: Works at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2020) that travelled to Sammlung Goetz, Munich in 2022. Selected shows include: Barbara Kasten: Scenarios, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen CO (2021); Women in Abstraction, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2021) that travelled to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain; Parallels, Philara Collection, Dusseldorf, Germany (2018); Barbara Kasten: Stages at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia (2016) that travelled to the Graham Foundation in Chicago and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; Barbara Kasten: Intervals, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, England (2017), among many others. Selected public collections include: Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago IL; Centre George Pompidou, Paris, France; International Center of Photography, New York NY; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York NY; Museum of Modern Art, Lodz, Poland; Museum of Modern Art, New York NY; Tate Modern, London, England; The Whitney Museum of Modern Art, New York NY.