Astman, Barbara

Red Series, Untitled (badminton racquet), 1981

colour print

14 x 11 in. (36 x 28 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Red Series, Untitled (banana and apple), 1981

colour print

4 x 3.9 ft. (1.2 x 1.19 m)

Astman, Barbara

Red Series, Untitled (book and coffee mug), 1981

colour print

4 x 3.9 ft. (1.2 x 1.19 m)

Astman, Barbara

Red Series, Untitled (bottle and glass), 1981

colour print

4 x 3.9 ft. (1.2 x 1.19 m)

Astman, Barbara

Red Series, Untitled (box of cookie cutters), 1981

analogue colour print

14 x 11 in. (36 x 28 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Red Series, Untitled (hammer and trowel), 1981

colour print

4 x 3.9 ft. (1.2 x 1.19 m)

Astman, Barbara

Red Series, untitled (paint roller and tray), 1981

colour print

4 x 3.9 ft. (1.2 x 1.19 m)

Astman, Barbara

Red Series, Untitled (picture frame), 1981

analogue colour print

14 x 11 in. (36 x 28 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Red Series, Untitled (ping pong paddle), 1981

colour print

4 x 3.9 ft. (1.2 x 1.19 m)

Astman, Barbara

Red Series, Untitled (red pencil), 1981

analogue colour print

14 x 11 in. (36 x 28 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Red Series, Untitled (telephone and coffee mug), 1981

analogue colour print

14 x 11 in. (36 x 28 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Red Series, Untitled (watering the pineapple), 1981

colour print

4 x 3.9 ft. (1.2 x 1.19 m)

Astman, Barbara

Red Series, Untitled (table fan), 1981

analogue colour print

14 x 11 in. (36 x 28 cm)

Astman, Barbara

Red series, Untitled (mouth), Red, 1981

analogue colour print

10 x 8 in. (25 x 20 cm)

Barbara Astman, Red series, 1981

 

The Red series represents a visual breakthrough on several levels: symbology, content and form. In this iconic series, Astman is again posed frontally. This time she is amidst a carefully balanced composition of household objects, each has been spray-painted red. As the background objects suspend midair, they assume something more than their original mundane functionality.

 

Barbara composes her series using a saturated quality of red, imbuing her objects with a variety of connotations ranging from playful to vaguely threatening. Using a fluorescent light, her skin acts as a cool surface. The result creates an unusual resonance that transforms the photographic medium into something that recalls a painting.

 

The use of text has been eliminated from these ektacolour murals. Without words one cannot be certain of their own individual interpretations of the piece. Nevertheless, the Red series evoked a strong response. Some viewers felt that the work had feminist overtones, while others simply enjoyed the graphics, and associations made with the colour red.