Barbara Kasten, Architectural Site 17, August 29, 1988, 1988 Credit: Courtesy the Artist

Over the course of her five-decade career, Chicago-based artist Barbara Kasten has experimented with some pretty complex processes. To create her photographic series from the late 1970s and ’80s, she carefully positioned props—often large geometric objects made from wood or plaster—among fiberglass screens, wires, mesh, mirrors, et cetera, then shot these abstract installations with a large-format camera. The resulting images are richly colored and feature a disorienting interplay between light and shadow—like a dream sequence staged in an 80s mall after hours. As she approaches 80, the influential artist and former Columbia College instructor is getting her first major and long-overdue survey of her career. Presented in partnership with the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (where the exhibition originated), “Stages” takes a close look at Kasten’s interdisciplinary practice using work pulled from her own archives.

10/1-1/9, Graham Foundation, 4 W. Burton, 312-787-4071,, free.