A photographer, Barth was born in Berlin, Germany in 1956. She has lived in the United States for many years, working as a professor in the Department of Art at the University of California in Riverside since 1990. She began to exhibit her works regularly in the mid 1980s and has since participated in solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries in New York, London, Stockholm, Houston, and San Francisco among other locations in the United States and abroad.
Barth has been commissioned to produce works for the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe, New Mexico as well as the Tate Gallery of Modern Art in London. She was nominated and became a finalist for the Citiella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship in 2000.