Photographer Series: Uta Barth

Photographer Series: Uta Barth

Uta Barth

Uta Barth is a contemporary photographer who was born in Berlin, Germany in 1958 and then moved to study and eventually live in Los Angeles, California. Her first artworks were a mixture of both painting and photography, and in the early 1990s her style evolved into the blurry images she has now become known for. Barth created these photographs by focusing her camera on empty foregrounds, thus emphasizing the photographic process over the image itself.


In the series nowhere near (1999), Barth places two similar, blurry photographs taken from her living room side by side. The photographs were taken over a 12-month time frame, and they hone in on branches and telephone wires seen from her window. Much of Barth’s work plays on light and shadow, and in her Sundial series (2007-08) she encapsulates the graceful outlines, shades, and traces that are present in our everyday routine. In to draw a bright white line with light (2011), Barth persists in her theme of shadows and domestic settings, but unlike her earlier work, she interferes in the spaces, which she formerly merely watched. Her hand slips into the frame, and with her fingers she gently lifts the curtain, altering the curve of the shadow. This simple occurrence now becomes an intricate part of the photographic experience.

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Her work has been displayed across the globe, including at Frieze New York 2017, and can be found in the collections of notable museums including The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate gallery in London, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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Words by Gea Bozzi