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GRAHAM FOUNDATION/ D.A.P.
Barbara Kasten: The Diazotypes
Edited by Ellen Alderman, Elisa Leshowitz. Text by Alex Klein.
In 1973, American artist Barbara Kasten (born 1936) began experimenting with various photographic and printing techniques, resulting in a series of 24 diazotypes--a process used to produce architectural blueprints. For these staged mise-en-scène works, produced while Kasten lived in California, a female student was hired by the artist to pose in various photographs on a chair outdoors. In them, a kind of performance unfolds, in which the body becomes entangled in forms and shapes, the overlaid printed grid on the photographs emphasizing the human figure against a determined space. These images--with their clear Bauhaus influence, insistence on the two-dimensional plane and determined staging--initially appear to be totally unlike the abstract conceptual photography for which Kasten has become known, but are nonetheless a visible precursor to her later work. This unique artist's book marks the very first publication of the Diazotypes series, with each copy signed and numbered by Kasten. It includes an interview with the artist conducted by curator Alex Klein, who organized the first major survey of Kasten's work at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, in 2015. This highly collectible publication is a wonderful tribute to the lesser-known work of an interdisciplinary artist and offers readers a glimpse into the continuities throughout her ongoing practice.
Featured image is reproduced from Barbara Kasten: The Diazotypes.
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/1/2015
Featured images are reproduced from Barbara Kasten: The Diazotypes, launching tonight at the Graham Foundation in Chicago. Published to accompany Stages, Kasten's critically acclaimed and long-overdue traveling retrospective, this illuminating artist's book presents, for the first time in history, the complete set of 24 prints originally produced for her 1973 installation at the California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC) in Oakland, California. "My photographs presented a realistic female body. I didn’t want to make clinical studies of the nude, but when I put an unclothed woman in a bottomless chair, some obvious relationships emerged." continue to blog
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/14/2015
Featured image is reproduced from Barbara Kasten: The Diazotypes, published to accompany Stages, Kasten's current retrospective at the Graham Foundation. In an interview with Kasten, curator Alex Klein comments, "I don't want to retroactively claim a politics for your work, but there is no doubt to the assertiveness of the diazotype images." Kasten responds, "Well, there is a synergy between the figure and the chair, which can be seen as symbolic of the manipulations that are imposed on women to fit into confirming roles in society; they present another way of looking at the female nude, in defiance of social mores. In both the sculptures and the prints, the body's relationship to designed form implies a rejection of prevailing societal structures even by simply making visible the practical difficulty of a body becoming one with a chair and the contortions that need to take place to accomplish this!" continue to blog
USD $45.00 | CAN $63
Pub Date: 4/11/2023