Artist: Robert Heinecken
Venue: Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: Object Matter
Date: February 19 – March 26, 2011
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles. Photos by Robert Wedemeyer.
Cherry and Martin and Marc Selwyn Fine Art are pleased to present the most major gallery exhibition of Robert Heinecken’s work in the last 10 years.
The exhibition at Cherry and Martin opens on February 19 and continues through March 26, 2011. The exhibition at Marc Selwyn opens on February 18 and continues through early April.
Revitalized interest in Robert Heinecken (1932-2006) has placed his work at the center of a conversation about the materiality of the photograph and the function of image and reproduction in contemporary society. Cherry and Martin will survey several works that stem from Heinecken’s experimentations with serial printed matter and television, including two that have rarely been seen: “Tuxedo Striptease” (1984), a series of 10 large-scale Polaroid prints, and “Surrealism on TV” (1986), a 240-slide projection piece.
Beginning in the late 1960’s, Heinecken sought to interact with the physicality and dispersion natural to the magazine format. He began making such subversive gestures as altering found magazines and then putting them back on the newsstands in which he initially found them (to be purchased by unsuspecting buyers). Heinecken’s Periodicals (1968-1972) consists of ten publications exploring such themes as violence and dysfunction in the American family, the similarities between advertising and pornography, and the peculiarities of American representations of race and gender. Works like “Periodical 3” (1970) obsessively replicate the magazine format. Heinecken’s layouts are composed of chance-driven juxtapositions, uncanny connections and ribald humor.
“As Long as You’re Up” (1963) is a rarely-seen transparency work in which Heinecken simply photographs a found magazine spread in his back yard . Along the margins of a page showing an advertisement for foster parents and an advertisement for alcohol, the viewer can see blades of grass. In the late 1960s Heinecken began incorporating collaged magazine pages into his transparency works to add visual texture, as evident in “Figure Parts/Hair” (1967). His fascination with the materiality of magazine pages and darkroom experimentation, for which the artist is well known, led to his unique black and white print-through photograms, one of which, “Study 20” (1970), will be on view.
“Tuxedo Striptease” (1984) follows a seemingly logical trail of found images Heinecken re-shot with a Polaroid camera. Culminating in the image of a baby in a tuxedo, this disjunctive joke characterizes the language of his better-known series, “Lessons in Posing Subjects” (1984). Also seen for the first time is Heineken’s “Surrealism on TV” (1986), a projection work of 240 slides made from photographs he captured directly from television. Using photography to addresses cultural and political issues in other than documentary ways, Heinecken critically comments on the insanity and all-encompassing reach of media culture.
Robert Heinecken received his BA (1959) and MFA (1960) from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1960 he was hired by U.C.L.A. and taught in the art department for the next 31 years, where he founded the department’s photography program (1964). Heinecken’s work was recently the subject of a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2007) and a 35-year retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1999) that toured to the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art that same year. His work has also recently appeared in “Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980” (2010) and “In Numbers: Serial Publications by Artists since 1955” (2010). Cherry and Martin and Marc Selwyn Fine Art are proud to co-represent the estate of Robert Heinecken.