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Cyanotype

Invented in 1842, the cyanotype process uses the action of sunlight on paper coated with light-sensitive iron compounds (rather than the more typical silver salts) against which is placed a photographic negative, a drawing, or an object. The resulting image appears white to shaded, against a background of rich color (the iron-based pigment, Prussian blue) and has a soft, matte surface. Subsequent washing intensified and fixed the image color. Early use of the cyanotype process included images of natural history specimens. From the late -nineteenth century, commercially-available papers were widely used for the common "blueprint" for architectural or other technical plans. The process continues in use today.

Photogenic Painting Untitled 1974

1974, cyanotype

Barbara Kasten

born Chicago, IL 1936