Parti Pris



Endlessly experimental and now in her eighth decade, Barbara Kasten is currently showing three recent bodies of work: an extension of her colorful, large scale photographs, Collisions, and new sculptural, photographic hybrids entitled Progressions. The exhibition also features Parallels—her first freestanding sculpture since the early 1970s.

In architectural terminology, the parti pris is the chief organizing principle of a project. Kasten utilizes the structural principles of architecture and process in her new works, which can be read within the realm of architectural diagrams.

Progressions, composed of face-mounted photographs with geometric acrylic shapes affixed to the surface, emphasize the duality of the photograph and of the relief’s sculptural forms. Transitioning from photographic representation as in the Collisions to address spatial ambiguities. The images in the photographs depicts space and even recede into the depths of implied space, while the three dimensional components extend outward. Both features—the image and the acrylic fragments—act as a bridge between dimensions.

Parallels, the large sculpture central to the exhibition, brings the transparency of form that exists in Kasten’s images fully into the viewers’ space and experience. In Parallels, she pushes the modernist, formal geometric order of these cubic constructions askew, utilizing a point of balance for its form. The fluorescent, acrylic components of Parallels are cantilevered on top of one another, each depending on the other, relying on the tension between each element and reaffirming an intuitive process.

Parti Pris is on show at Bortolami Gallery until 21 October.