Barbara Kasten, Intervention, Creative Chicago: A Hans Ulrich Obrist Interview Marathon, 2018. Courtesy of Bortolami, NY; Hannah Hoffman Gallery, LA; Thomas Dane Gallery, London; Kadel Willborn Gallery, Düsseldorf. Photo credit: Kindler.

De La Warr Pavilion is pleased to host the first institutional solo exhibition in the UK of artist Barbara Kasten, presenting a major new site-specific commission in our Ground floor gallery this summer.

Since the 1970s, Kasten (b. 1936, United States) has been constructing expansive installations made of architectural ‘props’ such as glass, mirrors, metal, or wood constructions in front of the camera for her abstract ‘photographs’. Space as a stage of a changing reality is the central motif of her photographs, film, and sculptural installations, which she produces in an ‘interdisciplinary performance’ between photography, sculpture, architecture, and painting. These theatrical arrangements are notable for their use of colour, light and shadow, an approach going back to Kasten’s roots as a painter and sculptor.

During her sojourn in Germany in the 1960s, Kasten observed an affinity between her painting and a new sculptural medium, fibre, being exhibited at the time. She returned to the US to pursue a graduate degree at California College of Arts and Crafts with Bauhaus disciple, Trude Guermonprez. Experimentation and modernism’s notions of space, stage, and architecture became the core of her practice since. While living in Los Angeles in the early 1970s, the ‘Light and Space Movement’ had an influence on her subsequent work. Through her cross-genre practice and continued use of analogue photographic materials, Kasten’s visionary practice has influenced a new generation of contemporary artists amidst the prevalence of digital imagery, Photoshop and 3D rendering today.

At DLWP, Kasten has responded to the distinctive architectural features of our Grade I listed modernist building and the unique setting of the Ground floor gallery, which looks directly out to the English Channel. Furthering her interest in the mechanisms and structures of how images are created, she has reconceived the gallery’s windows as a proscenium: a threshold between inside and outside space. Leant up against the glass will be a series of coloured, acrylic beams, the forms of which echo the internal and external columns that support the Pavilion’s rectilinear geometries. Installed throughout the gallery – ‘backstage’ behind the proscenium – will be a series of stage flats constructed out of metal and mirror. Kasten imagines these as ‘movie screens’ that provide a cinematic experience for visitors across the site through reflection and warping. Combined with stage lighting, these screens create a choreography of colour, light, and shadow throughout the space as its atmosphere changes with the weather outside.

Presented in the context of this new commission is Kasten seminal Architectural Sites series (1986-89). Made on location with a single exposure and no digital intervention, this body of work restages the architectural sites of several museums and institutions through bold colours and kaleidoscopic perspectives. As reconfigurations of architectural forms shifting from two to three dimensions, this photographic series speaks to Kasten’s transformation of the gallery this summer, as she invites visitors to enter her theatrical construction and move through modernist form in real time.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Barbara Kasten lives and works in Chicago. Her works are included in institutional collections such as the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Centre Pompidou Paris, the Tate Modern London, the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum Washington DC, the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California. Solo exhibitions include Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany; the Aspen Art Museum (both 2020); the Philara Collection in Düsseldorf, Germany (2018); the ICA Philadelphia (2015), and the MoCA Los Angeles (2016). Her work has been part of international group exhibitions, including Women in Abstraction at the Centre Pompidou, the Sharjah Biennial 14, Bauhaus and America, LWL – Landesmuseum Münster, History of Photography at Sprengel Museum Hannover, Shape of Light at Tate Modern London, and Color Mania at Fotomuseum Winterthur.

Exhibition supported by:

       

 

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Staying locally

There are plenty of welcoming and good value B&Bs & boutique hotels in Bexhill. The De La Warr Pavilion regularly uses the following :

Travel information
  • By Rail
    Direct trains go from London Victoria, Brighton and Ashford to Bexhill.
    There are also trains from London Charing Cross, changing at St. Leonards Warrior Square and from London Bridge or Charing Cross going to Battle. Battle is only a short taxi journey away (15 mins approx).
    Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for up-to-date train travel information.
  • Taxis
    Town Taxis:  01424 211 511
    Parkhurst Taxis:  01424 733 456
  • By Car
    If driving from the London area:
    Take the M25, then A21 to Hastings. Turn off at John‘s Cross and follow the signs to Bexhill.
    OR
    Take the A22 to Eastbourne, go across the Bishop roundabout to the A271 and follow the signs to Bexhill and the seafront. The De La Warr Pavilion is on the Marina.
    From the Brighton area:
    Follow the A27 out of Brighton until you arrive in Bexhill On Sea.
  • Parking
    Please be aware the Rother District car park outside the De La Warr Pavilion operates paid parking until 7pm. After this time parking is free. There is also lmiited free car parking along the seafront.
Accessibility

Within the limits of this Grade One listed building, the De La Warr Pavilion strives to be fully accessible with a range of facilities to support your visit.

Assistance Dogs are permitted into the building.

Please contact the Box Office on 01424 229 111 to arrange a visit.

Facilities for disabled visitors

  • Ramped access at the front of the building
  • A low counter at the Box Office and  Information Desk
  • Disabled toilets on two floors
  • A lift to all floors
  • Accessible galleries on both floors
  • An accessible Café
  • Spaces for wheelchairs in the auditorium for seated events
  • Ramped access in the auditorium for events during the day
  • Ramped access into the Studio
  • Two travel wheelchairs are available for use at the De La Warr Pavilion. To reserve, please call our box office and information desk on (01424) 229111 or ask a member of staff on arrival. The chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis and are intended for use inside the Pavilion. Please contact us for more information.

Facilities for blind or visually-impaired

  • Large print season brochures

Facilities for the hard-of-hearing

  • An T-Switch induction loop in some areas of the auditorium (please indicate when booking as this facility is not available on the balcony)
  • British Sign Language interpretation tours of the building and exhibitions are available on request.