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seeing/forgetting

August 19, 2010

[Art Review] This past year, Uta Barth moved for the first time in 18 years. While packing up and leafing through her possessions, she came across some photographs she had never shown, and in fact had completely forgotten about. Made between 1979 and 1982, during her last year of college and her first months in graduate school at University of California, Los Angeles, the small black-and-white images were displayed in the gallery’s bottom floor rooms. The images included studies of a ribbon of sunlight gleaming beneath a heavy curtain, shadows of legs in a rectangle of light, portraits of the artist with three-fourths of her body in shadow and then in brightness, empty chairs, a field of snow with just a few naked twigs, and a series of banal objects (a newspaper, wires, a ladder) moved around a room. Barth stated, in the gallery’s accompanying monograph, that she was deeply pleased to discover that the elements she has ardently pursued in her work – tracking time, tracing light, vacant centres, minimal and peripheral content – were present nearly 30 years ago. This show, with older, forgotten work on the first floor and a new series upstairs, presents the bookends to a remarkably consistent, and distilled practice. (read)

Exhibition website

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