A conjurer of visual effects in the quiet setting of her Los Angeles home as it interfaces with her yard outside through its windows, Uta Barth has explored the eye’s exhaustion by taking repeated photos of a tree, the liminal state of dusk in one of her rooms and, most recently, the play of ribbons of light on a curtain. In her latest body of work, “…and to draw a bright white line with light,” Barth has dropped any pretension to representation and has crimped and spread the curtain to make the light-line undulate with wavelike rhythms, broadening and narrowing against an off-white nearly monochromatic background. The result is a series of hypnotic images that deploy abstraction to put us into reveries that concentrate attention on the simultaneity of stillness and irregular movement. By giving herself over to abstraction, Barth beckons us to a psychedelic experience in the most faded of colors. (Michael Weinstein)
Through August 14 at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan.