Uta Barth is a contemporary photographer best known for her interplay between the photographs and the environment in which they are shown.
Born in Berlin, Barth received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles. From 1990 to 2008, she was a professor in the Art Department of the University of California, Riverside, where she is currently a professor of art emeritus. After receiving the MacArthur Fellowship in October 2012, she noted that she still plans to teach on a part-time basis because teaching forces her to “put language to” what she is thinking.
Her early work was a combination of painting and photography, which led to the development of her signature style of blurry photographs as seen in Ground (1992–1997) and Field (1995).
Throughout the past two decades, Uta Barth has made visual perception as subject of her work. Regarded for her “empty” images that border on painterly abstraction, the artist carefully renders blurred backgrounds, cropped frames and the natural qualities of light to capture incidental and fleeting moments, those which exist almost exclusively within our periphery. With a deliberate disregard for both the conventional photographic subject and point-and-shoot role of the camera, Barth’s work delicately deconstructs conventions of visual representation by calling our attention to the limits of the human eye.
Some of her works were created by focusing the camera on an empty foreground, thereby casting a haze over the image in the background. The idea of obscuring the image in order to highlight the photographic process has continued throughout her work.
Barth continued to experiment with obstruction and light, with series such as Sundial (2007–2008) and …And to draw a bright line with light (2011). Barth’s work has been shown all over the world, and is owned by institutions such as The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Tate Gallery in London. In 2007, she received a Broad Foundation fellowship, and was given a grant by United States Artists.
She lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
|2014||I feel the need to express something, but I don’t know what it is I want to express. Or how to express it||Park View, Los Angeles, CA||Group|
|2014||The Bigger Picture - Work From The 1990s||Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York City, NY||Group|
|2014||A World of Its Own: Photographic Practices in the Studio||MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY||Group|
|2014||Between The Lines||Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York City, NY||Group|
|2013||Uta Barth - To Draw With Light||SCAD Museum of Art , Savannah, GA||Solo|
|2013||At the Window: The Photographer's View||J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA||Group|
|2013||Lens Drawing||Galerie Marian Goodman, Paris||Group|
|2012||Staring at the Wall||Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX||Group|
|2012||When Does Something Become Something Else?||Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN||Group|
|2012||Greetings From Los Angeles||Starkwhite, Auckland||Group|
|2012||Transparent||Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, NM||Group|
|2012||Moca’s 15th Anniversary Collection||Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA), Miami, FL||Group|
|2012||Making sense: contemporary LA photo artists||Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW||Group|
|2011||Magical Consciousness||Arnolfini, Bristol||Group|
|2011||Conversations: Photography from the Bank of America||MFA - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, MA||Group|
|2010||Ute Barth - ...to walk without destination and to see only to see||Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York City, NY||Solo|
|2010||Place as Idea||Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA||Group|
|2010||Thrice upon a time||Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm||Group|
|2010||Incognito: The Hidden Self-Portrait||Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York City, NY||Group|
|2010||The Library of Babel: In and Out of Place||Zabludowicz Collection London, London||Group|
|2010||InVisible: Art at the Edge of Perception||Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art - MASSMoCA, North Adams, MA||Group|
|2010||STATE OF MIND - A California Invitational||The Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA||Group|
|2009||Winter Light||1301PE, Los Angeles, CA||Group|
|2009||Reach of Realism||Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA), Miami, FL||Group|
|2009||Pivot Points 3||Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA), Miami, FL||Group|
|2008||Uta Barth: Poststrasse 3||Sies + Höke, Dusseldorf||Solo|
|2008||Seeing the Light||Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York City, NY||Group|
|2008||INSIDE OUTSIDE||MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Duisburg||Group|
|2008||Memory is your image of perfection||Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego - MCASD Downtown, San Diego, CA||Group|
|2008||Affinities Alignments Collisions||601Artspace, New York City, NY||Group|
|2007||Uta Barth - Sundial||Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York City, NY||Solo|
|2007||Seeing Things||Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs (DGCP), New York City, NY||Group|
|2007||Viewfinder||Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA||Group|
|2006||Naturaleza: PhotoEspana||Madrid, Spain||Solo|
|2006||Uta Barth: 1998-2005||Rochester Art Center, Rochester, MN||Solo|
|2001||Uta Barth: In Between Places||Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX||Solo|
|2000||Uta Barth: Nowhere Near||Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, NM||Solo|
|1997||Uta Barth - Recent Photographs||Presentation House Gallery - PHG, North Vancouver, BC||Solo|
|1995||Focus Series: Uta Barth||MOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA||Solo|