Amalgam, Untitled 79/9
From the series Amalgam

Barbara Kasten, American, born 1936

Made in California, United States, North and Central America


Gelatin silver print with applied paint

Image and sheet (sight): 15 3/8 × 19 1/4 inches (39.1 × 48.9 cm)

© Barbara Kasten

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with funds contributed by Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson and Richard L. and Ronay Menschel, 2014

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art Handbook (2014 Edition)

    Barbara Kasten’s Amalgam, Untitled 79/9 is a cameraless image that documents the basic characteristics of light and materials, while providing an ambiguous representation of space. To make this photogram, the artist placed a Plexiglas cube on photographic paper and exposed it to light. She then painted geometric marks on an enlargement of the original, emphasizing the nature of the photograph as an abstract design on a flat surface. At a moment when many artists were questioning modernist dictates of medium specificity and exploring the power of art as social critique, Kasten used photography to investigate the boundaries of painting and sculpture, rejecting the idea that photographs should represent the everyday world of human activities. Nathaniel Stein, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2014, p. 380.