In this lecture, Graham grantee Alex Kitnick will explore the critical stakes of Barbara Kasten's Architectural Sites, her photographic series from the 1980s that artfully staged important works of American architecture, from Arata Isozaki’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, to Richard Meier’s High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Created at the height of postmodern theory, Kasten’s work submits iconic buildings to distorting angles and colored lights, thus transforming already vertiginous structures into truly illusory spaces. Kitnick argues that these photographs offer a unique form of criticism that seek to heighten—rather than deconstruct—the effects of an emerging Postmodernism, and that these effects are increasingly familiar today.
Alex Kitnick is an art historian and critic based in New York. He teaches at Bard College. In 2010 he received his Ph.D. from the Department of Art & Archaeology at Princeton University. From 2011 to 2012 he held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Kitnick has edited numerous volumes including a collection of John McHale’s writings, The Expendable Reader: Articles on Art, Architecture, Design, and Media, 1951–1979, which was supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation, and October 136 on New Brutalism. He is a frequent contributor to publications including Artforum, October, and Texte zur Kunst. His work frequently focuses on the intersections of art and architecture.