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Karl Kasten

"Space is unique to painting. A blank canvas represents infinity and space, but it's also flat. You've got this crazy phenomenon going on. It's paradoxical. As soon as you put a line on that canvas - boom! - you open up space all around the line. The canvas is kind of a living thing...'

Karl Kasten

b. 1916 - d. 2010

Born in San Francisco, attended U.C. Berkeley (B. 1938, M.S. 1939), the University of Iowa, and the Hans Hofmann School in Provincetown, Mass.   Kasten's early painting combined the gestural brushwork and thick textures of Abstract Expressionism with a more firmly geometric substructure.  The formal elements became more pronounced in his paintings of the mid-1960's, and eventually came to dominate a hard-edged by softly textured architectural abstraction.  An influential teacher at U.C. Berkleley from the 1950s throught the early 1980s.

He was a member of what was considered 'The Berkeley School', under the influence of Hans Hofmann, and whose members included Erle Loran, John Haley, James McCray, Sonya Rapaport and others.

- Thomas Albright

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