Composition #8 from: Compositions of Light on White

Uta Barth’s focus on photography and visual perception has led her to create a body of work staged in her own home. By manipulating and observing the effect of light on various surfaces and objects, she uses the camera to produce work that verges on abstraction. In doing so she calls for a renewed attention to the viewer’s perception of their own surroundings. Born in Germany and based in California, Barth was a 2012 MacArthur Fellow and a 2004-2005 Guggenheim Fellow.

About Uta Barth

Photographing exclusively in her own home, Uta Barth seeks to make viewers conscious of their own perceptual process in relationship to what they see in a gallery. “In most photographs the subject and the content are one and the same thing. My work is first and foremost about perception,” she explains. An early realization that using a camera lens changed how she saw things resulted in a visual acuity to the mundane and ephemeral. For instance, in her series “Ground” and “Field” (1992-98), Barth created images of blurry backgrounds by focusing her camera on empty foregrounds. In her recent three-part project “And to draw a bright white line with light” (2011), a ribbon of light streaming through a window ripples across a set of curtains, which Barth has drawn to manipulate the abstract forms cast through it’s openings. Barth was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2012.

German, b. 1958, Berlin, Germany, based in California