Founded in 1963, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania has developed an international reputation as a preeminent venue for contemporary art and culture. ICA is widely known for exhibiting artists at critical points in their careers. It organized the first museum shows on the work of Andy Warhol, Laurie Anderson, Robert Indiana, and Agnes Martin. A non-collecting museum, ICA is also one of the only kunsthalles in America.
Barbara Kasten's photography—which draws inspiration from sculpture, theater, and architecture—has become an important precedent for a generation of younger artists. Despite this, her work remains largely unknown in the culture at large. The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) plans to change that by organizing the first major retrospective to situate four decades of Kasten's photography in relationship to other areas of artistic practice. Program Curator Alex Klein will conduct research first in Chicago, where she will interview the artist and view her extensive archives, and then in California, where she will speak to people affiliated with the Bauhaus and the California Light and Space movements—both influences on Kasten's work. Klein will share her ongoing research through ICA's newly revamped website, which will launch in the fall of 2013.