Uta Barth was here last week for the Modern’s first 2011 Tuesday Evenings lecture. I have always found Barth’s work stunning, with its peripheral quality and serial presentation. While an hour was not enough time to fully cover her work to date, Barth was able to give a good sense of its origins and where she is with it today. Barth closed the lecture with a few images of work from her early twenties. They were images that she kept to herself as a student due to their incongruence with the trends in art at the time. It was revealing to see how surprisingly consistent these black-and-white photographs—partial images of her as a sundial casting shadows on a sunny patch of floor or the happenings within a specific area of her studio—had with the role of light and shadow and the beautiful records of the familiar and mundane in what she is making today. It was a thoughtful lecture and a thorough overview of her process for making art over more than three decades.
Uta Barth: The Long Now, the recently released 383-page monograph on the artist, signed and available in the Modern Shop, has gorgeous reproductions of most of the work covered in Barth’s lecture.