8 April – 14 May 2017

SITUATION #69: Robert Heinecken, Periodical #5, 1971

8 April – 14 May 2017

Periodical #5, offset lithography on magazine pages, 1971 © The Estate of Robert Heinecken

Robert Heinecken belongs to the pioneering artists of the American West Coast who used appropriated images in a creative context. In 1964 he founded the photography department at the University of California, Los Angeles, which he led until 1991, and acted as a mentor to subsequent generations of artists who explored the boundaries of the medium. Heinecken drew many of the images in his work from the mass media, but he didn’t view media as organic in nature, but rather characterised it as an elementary instrument for the dissemination of information – a ‘quasi-nature’. In the series Periodicals, Heinecken experiments with techniques of reproduction, layering pages of fashion and lifestyle magazines with a recurring, offset-printed press photo of the Vietnam War. The visual rhetoric of the superficial and the political are merged into a diffuse hybrid in which the counterposed images mutually neutralise each other.

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