Constructs is an exhibition of vintage 8×10 inch Polaroid photographs. Made between 1981 and 1983, these jewel-like abstractions were created in the studio using mirrors, lights and geometric forms.
Trained as a painter and sculptor, Kasten was at the leading edge of the early 1980s trend in photography away from documentation toward a studio-fabricated approach. Kasten’s interest in the geometric content of the work of Sol LeWitt, Al Held and Dorothea Rockburne and the Bauhaus precepts of staging, color theory, and distortion culminated in the Constructs series. Her experiments with “non-objective” photography place her in a continuum between Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and the emerging artist Eileen Quinlan. As Kasten states: “I challenged the integral photographic premise of recording reality. The objects I assembled had no representational meaning. The fabrication I created and the photograph of it became the objective. Photography records real physical objects usually imbued with metaphor or documentation while these works simply present materials in constructions which, through the photographic process, possess the illusions and qualities of space, color and form.”
Kasten’s Constructs series led to the series Architectural Sites, large-scale cibachrome photographs in which she treated contemporary building structures as geometric forms, transforming them with lights and colored gels into brilliant abstractions.