Photographer Barbara Kasten adopts an experimental approach to the medium inspired by the Bauhaus and Constructivism. Often creating abstracted images of interior architectural settings, she uses photography to create dynamic reinterpretations of familiar environments. Using a variety of materials, including plastic, mesh, Plexiglas, lighting gels, and mirrors, Kasten constructs large-scale scenes that are designed to maximize the contrast between light and shadow and to create as much interior reflection as possible. She then photographs the sets, aiming to capture the geometric and abstract forms created through her treatment rather than the original tableau itself. Kasten has also created video installations in which patterns of light and shadow are projected onto mirrors, spilling across the gallery space and transforming it into a total perceptual experience.
Kasten’s work has been exhibited extensively since the 1970s, with shows at institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, the Walker Art Center, and the International Center of Photography, among many others.