Posts Tagged ‘Inaugural Excerpt Videograms


Exhibition: ‘Robert Heinecken: Object Matter’ at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York

Exhibition dates: 15th March – 7th September 2014


A bumper posting on probably the most important photo-media artist who has ever lived. This is how to successfully make conceptual photo-art.

A revolutionary artist, this para-photographer’s photo puzzles are just amazing!


Many thank to MoMA for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.




Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Figure Horizon #1' 1971


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Figure Horizon #1
Ten canvas panels with photographic emulsion
Each 11 13/16 x 11 13/16″ (30 x 30 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Shirley C. Burden, by exchange


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Le Voyeur / Robbe-Grillet #2' 1972


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Le Voyeur / Robbe-Grillet #2
Three canvas panels with bleached photographic emulsion and pastel chalk
14 x 40″ (35.6 x 101.6 cm)
George Eastman House, Rochester, New York. Museum Purchase with National Endowment for the Arts support


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Child Guidance Toys' 1965


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Child Guidance Toys
Black-and-white film transparency
5 x 18 1/16″ (12.7 x 45.8 cm)
The Art Institute of Chicago. Gift of Boardroom, Inc.


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Lessons in Posing Subjects / Matching Facial Expressions' 1981


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Lessons in Posing Subjects / Matching Facial Expressions
Fifteen internal dye diffusion transfer prints (SX-70 Polaroid) and lithographic text on Rives BFK paper
15 x 20″ (38.1 x 50.8 cm)
Collection UCLA Grunwald Center for Graphic Art, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Gift of Dean Valentine and Amy Adelson


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Kodak Safety Film / Taos Church' 1972


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Kodak Safety Film / Taos Church
Black-and-white film transparency
40 x 56″ (101.6 x 142.2 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Photography Fund


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'As Long As Your Up' 1965


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
As Long As Your Up
Black-and-white film transparency
15 1/2 x 19 5/8″ (39.4 x 49.8 cm)
The Robert Heinecken Trust, Chicago. Courtesy Petzel Gallery, New York


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Periodical #5' 1971


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Periodical #5
Offset lithography on found magazine
12 1/4 x 9″ (31.1 x 22.9 cm)
Collection Philip Aarons and Shelley Fox Aarons, New York


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Six Figures/Mixed' 1968


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Six Figures/Mixed
Layered Plexiglas and black-and-white film transparencies
5.75 x 9.75 x 1.5″ (14.61 x 24.77 x 3.81 cm)
Collection Darryl Curran, Los Angeles


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Figure / Foliage #2' 1969


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Figure / Foliage #2
Layered Plexiglas and black-and-white film transparencies
5 x 5 x 1 1/4″ (12.7 x 12.7 x 3.2 cm)
Collection Anton D. Segerstrom, Corona del Mar, California




Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Kaleidoscopic Hexagon #2
Six gelatin silver prints on wood
Diameter: 14″ (35.6 cm)
Black Dog Collection. Promised gift to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) '24 Figure Blocks' 1966


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
24 Figure Blocks
Twelve gelatin silver prints on wood blocks, and twelve additional wood blocks
14 1/16 x 14 1/16 x 13/16″ (35.7 x 35.7 x 2.1 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Gift of Jeanne and Richard S. Press


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Multiple Solution Puzzle' 1965


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Multiple Solution Puzzle
Sixteen gelatin silver prints on wood
11 1/4 x 11 1/4 x 1″ (28.6 x 28.6 x 2.5 cm)
Collection Maja Hoffmann/LUMA Foundation



The Museum of Modern Art presents Robert Heinecken: Object Matter, the first retrospective of the work of Robert Heinecken since his death in 2006 and the first exhibition on the East Coast to cover four decades of the artist’s unique practice, from the early 1960s through the late 1990s, on view from March 15 to September 7, 2014. Describing himself as a “para-photographer,” because his work stood “beside” or “beyond” traditional ideas associated with photography, Heinecken worked across multiple mediums, including photography, sculpture, printmaking, and collage. Culling images from newspapers, magazines, pornography, and television, he recontextualized them through collage and assemblage, photograms, darkroom experimentation, and rephotography. His works explore themes of commercialism, Americana, kitsch, sex, the body, and gender. In doing so, the works in this exhibition expose his obsession with popular culture and its effects on society, and with the relationship between the original and the copy. Robert Heinecken: Object Matter is organized by Eva Respini, Curator, with Drew Sawyer, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow, Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition will travel to the Hammer Museum, and will be on view there from October 5, 2014 through January 17, 2015.

Heinecken dedicated his life to making art and teaching, establishing the photography program at UCLA in 1964, where he taught until 1991. He began making photographs in the early 1960s. The antithesis of the fine-print tradition exemplified by West Coast photographers Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, who photographed landscapes and objects in sharp focus and with objective clarity, Heinecken’s early work is marked by high contrast, blur, and under- or overexposure, as seen in Shadow Figure (1962) and Strip of Light (1964). In the mid-1960s he began combining and sequencing disparate pictures, as in Visual Poem/About the Sexual Education of a Young Girl (1965), which comprises seven black-and-white photographs of dolls with a portrait of his then-five-year-old daughter Karol at the center.

The female nude is a recurring motif, featured in Refractive Hexagon (1965), one of several “photopuzzles” composed of photographs of female body parts mounted onto 24 individual “puzzle” pieces. Other three-dimensional sculptures – geometric volumes ranging in height from five to 22 inches – consist of photographs mounted onto individual blocks, which rotate independently around a central axis. In Fractured Figure Sections (1967), as in Refractive Hexagon, the female figure is never resolved as a single image – the body is always truncated, never contiguous. In contrast, a complete female figure can be reconstituted in his largest photo-object, Transitional Figure Sculpture (1965), a towering 26-layer octagon composed from photographs of a nude that have been altered using various printing techniques. At the time, viewer engagement was key to creating random configurations and relationships in the work; any number of possibilities may exist, only to be altered with the next manipulation. Today, due to the fragility of the works, these objects are displayed in Plexiglas-covered vitrines. However, the number of sculptures and puzzles gathered here offer the viewer a sense of this diversity.

Heinecken’s groundbreaking suite Are You Rea (1964-68) is a series of 25 photograms made directly from magazine pages. Representative of a culture that was increasingly commercialized, technologically mediated, and suspicious of established truths, Are You Rea cemented Heinecken’s interest in the multiplicity of meanings inherent in existing images and situations. Culled from more than 2000 magazine pages, the work includes pictures from publications such as Life, Time, and Woman’s Day, contact-printed so that both sides are superimposed in a single image. Heinecken’s choice of pages and imagery are calculated to reveal specific relationships and meanings – ads for Coppertone juxtaposed with ads for spaghetti dinners and an article about John F. Kennedy superimposed on an ad for Wessex carpets – the portfolio’s narrative moves from relatively commonplace and alluring images of women to representations of violence and the male body.

Heinecken began altering magazines in 1969 with a series of 120 periodicals titled MANSMAG: Homage to Werkman and Cavalcade. He used the erotic men’s magazine Cavalcade as source material, making plates of every page, and randomly printing them on pages that were then reassembled into a magazine, now scrambled. In the same year, he disassembled numerous Time magazines, imprinting pornographic images taken from Cavalcade on every page, and reassembled them with the original Time covers. He circulated these reconstituted magazines by leaving them in waiting rooms or slipping them onto newsstands, allowing the work to come full circle – the source material returning to its point of origin after modification. He reprised this technique in 1989 with an altered issue of Time titled 150 Years of Photojournalism, a greatest hits of historical events seen through the lens of photography.


Installation views of 'Robert Heinecken: Object Matter' at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Installation views of 'Robert Heinecken: Object Matter' at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Installation views of 'Robert Heinecken: Object Matter' at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Installation views of 'Robert Heinecken: Object Matter' at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)


Installation views of Robert Heinecken: Object Matter at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Photos by Jonathan Muzikar
© The Museum of Modern Art


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Breast / Bomb #5' 1967


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Breast / Bomb #5
Gelatin silver prints, cut and reassembled
38 1/2 x 38 1/4″ (97.8 x 97.2 cm)
Denver Art Museum. Funds From 1992 Alliance For Contemporary Art Auction


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Then People Forget You' 1965


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Then People Forget You
Gelatin silver print
10 3/8 x 12 15/16″ (26.3 x 32.8 cm)
The Art Institute of Chicago. Gift of Boardroom, Inc.


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Cliche Vary / Autoeroticism' 1974


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Cliche Vary / Autoeroticism
Eleven canvas panels with photographic emulsion and pastel chalk
39 1/2 x 39 1/2 in. (100.3 x 100.3 cm)
Collection Susan and Peter MacGill, New York


Robert Heinecken. 'Surrealism on TV' 1986


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Surrealism on TV
216 35 mm color slides, slide-show time variable
The Robert Heinecken Trust, Chicago; courtesy Cherry and Martin Gallery, Los Angeles
© 2013 The Robert Heinecken Trust.


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Shiva Manifesting as a Single Mother' 1989


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Shiva Manifesting as a Single Mother
Magazine paper, paint and varnish
Collection Philip F. Denny, Chicago
© 2014 The Robert Heinecken Trust



Transparent film is also used in many of Heinecken’s works to explore different kinds of juxtapositions. In Kodak Safety Film/Christmas Mistake (1971), pornographic images are superimposed on a Christmas snapshot of Heinecken’s children with the suggestion in the title that somehow two rolls of film were mixed up at the photo lab. Kodak Safety Film/Taos Church (1972) takes photography itself as a subject, picturing an adobe church in New Mexico that was famously photographed by Ansel Adams and Paul Strand, and painted by Georgia O’Keeffe and John Marin. Presented as a negative, Heinecken’s version transforms an icon of modernism into a murky structure flanked by a pickup truck, telephone wires, and other modern-day debris.

Heinecken’s hybrid photographic paintings, created by applying photographic emulsion on canvas, are well represented in the exhibition. In Figure Horizon #1(1971), Heinecken reprised the cut-and-reassemble techniques from his puzzles and photo-sculptures, sequencing images of sections of the nude female body, to create impossible undulating landscapes. Cliché Vary, a pun on the 19th-century cliché verre process, is comprised of three large-scale modular works, all from 1974: Autoeroticism, Fetishism, and Lesbianism. The works are comprised of separately stretched canvas panels with considerable hand-applied color on the photographic image, invoking clichés associated with autoeroticism, fetishism, and lesbianism. Reminiscent of his cut-and-reassembled pieces, each panel features disjointed views of bodies and fetish objects that never make a whole, and increase in complexity, culminating with Lesbianism, which is made with seven or eight different negatives.

In the mid-1970s, Heinecken experimented with new materials introduced by Polaroid – specifically the SX-70 camera (which required no darkroom or technical know-how) – to produce the series He/She (1975-1980) and, later, Lessons in Posing Subjects (1981-82). Heinecken experimented with different types of instant prints, including the impressive two-panel S.S. Copyright Project: “On Photography” (1978), made the year after the publication of Susan Sontag’s collection of essays On Photography (1977). The S.S. Copyright Project consists of a magnified and doubled picture of Sontag, derived from the book’s dustcover portrait (taken by Jill Krementz). The work equates legibility with physical proximity – from afar, the portraits appear to be grainy enlargements from a negative (or, to contemporary eyes, pixilated low-resolution images), but at close range, it is apparent that the panels are composed of hundreds of small photographic scraps stapled together. The portrait on the left is composed of photographs of Sontag’’ text; the right features random images taken around Heinecken’s studio by his assistant.

Heinecken’s first large-scale sculptural installation, TV/Time Environment (1970), is the earliest in a series of works that address the increasingly dominant presence of television in American culture. In the installation, a positive film transparency of a female nude is placed in front of a functioning television set in an environment that evokes a living room, complete with recliner chair, plastic plant, and rug. Continuing his work with television, Heinecken created videograms – direct captures from the television that were produced by pressing Cibachrome paper onto the screen to expose the sensitized paper. Inaugural Excerpt Videograms (1981) features a composite from the live television broadcast of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration speech and the surrounding celebrations. The work, originally in 27 parts, now in 24, includes randomly chosen excerpts of the oration and news reports of it. Surrealism on TV (1986) explores the idea of transparency and layering using found media images to produce new readings. It features a slide show comprised of more than 200 images loaded into three slide projectors and projected in random order. The images generally fit into broad categories, which include newscasters, animals, TV evangelists, aerobics, and explosions.

Text from the MoMA press release


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Figure Cube' 1965


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Figure Cube
Gelatin silver prints on Masonite
5 7/8 x 5 7/8″ (15 x 15 cm)
The Robert Heinecken Trust. Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Figure in Six Sections' 1965


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Figure in Six Sections
Gelatin silver prints on wood blocks
8 1/2 x 3 x 3″ (21.6 x 7.6 x 7.6 cm)
Collection Kathe Heinecken. Courtesy The Robert Heinecken Trust, Chicago


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Fractured Figure Sections' 1967


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Fractured Figure Sections
Gelatin silver prints on wood blocks
8 1/4 x 3 x 3″ (21 x 7.6 x 7.6 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Photography Council Fund and Committee on Photography Fund


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'The S.S. Copyright Project: "On Photography"' (Part 1 of 2) 1978


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
The S.S. Copyright Project: “On Photography” (Part 1 of 2)
Collage of black and white instant prints attached to composite board with staples
b 47 13/16 x 47 13/16″ (121.5 x 121.5 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchased as the partial gift of Celeste Bartos


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Recto/Verso #2' 1988


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Recto/Verso #2
Silver dye bleach print
8 5/8 x 7 7/8″ (21.9 x 20 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Clark Winter Fund


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Figure Parts / Hair' 1967


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Figure Parts / Hair
Black-and-whtie film transparencies over magazine-page collage
16 x 12″ (40.6 x 30.5 cm)
Collection Karol Heinecken Mora, Los Angeles


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'V.N. Pin Up' 1968


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
V.N. Pin Up
Black-and-white film transparency over magazine-page collage
12 1/2 • 10″ (31.8 • 25.4 cm)
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Gift of Daryl Gerber Stokols


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Typographic Nude' 1965


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Typographic Nude
Gelatin silver print
14 1/2 x 7″ (36.8 x 17.8 cm)
Collection Geofrey and and Laura Wyatt, Santa Barbara, California


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Are You Rea #1' 1968


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Are You Rea #1
Twenty-five gelatin silver prints
Various dimensions
Collection Jeffrey Leifer, San Francisco


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'Are You Rea #25' 1968


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
Are You Rea #25
Twenty-five gelatin silver prints
Various dimensions
Collection Jeffrey Leifer, San Francisco


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931–2006) 'Cybill Shepherd / Phone Sex' 1992


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931–2006)
Cybill Shepherd / Phone Sex
Silver dye bleach print on foamcore
63 x 17″ (160 x 43.2 cm)
The Robert Heinecken Trust, Courtesy of Petzel Gallery, New York


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006) 'MANSMAG: Homage to Werkman and Cavalcade' 1969


Robert Heinecken (American, 1931-2006)
MANSMAG: Homage to Werkman and Cavalcade
Offset lithography on bound paper
8 3/4 x 6 5/8″ (22.2 x 16.8 cm)
The Robert Heinecken Trust, Chicago



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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

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