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New York

MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)

Exhibition Detail
Object Matter
Curated by: Eva Respini, Drew Sawyer
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019


March 15th - September 7th
Opening: 
March 15th 10:30 AM - 5:30 PM
 
Are You Rea #1, Robert HeineckenRobert Heinecken, Are You Rea #1,
1964–68, Lithograph, 10 13/16 x 7 7/8" (27.4 x 20cm)
© Courtesy of MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)
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> DESCRIPTION

Robert Heinecken (1931–2006) was a pioneer in the postwar Los Angeles art scene. 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, video, printmaking, and collage. Culling images from newspapers, magazines, pornography, and television, he recontextualized them through collage and assemblage, double-sided photograms, darkroom experimentation, and rephotography. Although Heinecken was rarely behind the lens of a camera, his photo-based works question the nature of photography and radically redefine the perception of it as an artistic medium. His works explore themes of commercialism, Americana, kitsch, sex, the body, and gender. In doing so, they also expose his obsession with popular culture and its effects on society, and with the relationship between the original and the copy

This survey exhibition covers five decades of the artist’s remarkable, unique practice, from the early 1960s through the late 1990s. Although Heinecken was prolific, this exhibition is a focused presentation of his major works, emphasizing early experiments that investigated technique and materiality and sought to destabilize the very definition of photography. Heinecken’s innovative and diverse experimentation resonates deeply with current artistic practice, and his prescient exploration of the definition of photography, the possibilities of appropriation, and the limitations of artistic categories is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago.


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