Tyler Green
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Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

The MAN Podcast: Robert Heinecken

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This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast spotlights conceptual photographer Robert Heinecken with Museum of Modern Art curator Eva Respini.

Heinecken was a pioneer in using media to critique media, a practice that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have adapted for a television age. Heinecken rarely took his own photographs, instead using existing images and long-familiar photographic and printing techniques to create new semi-collages made up of multiple images. Heinecken’s work is the subject of “Robert Heinecken: Object Matter,” a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The exhibition is in member previews, opens on Saturday, and runs through September 7.

Eva Respini has organized exhibitions of Cindy Sherman and with Vik Muniz. Her many projects are chronicled at her website. She organized “Heinecken” with curatorial fellow Drew Sawyer.

Among the topics we discuss are:

  • Why Heinecken is so rarely examined by or exhibited at art museums;
  • How he becomes interested in becoming a camera-less photographer;
  • Heinecken’s interest (or lack thereof?) in collage; and
  • His critiques of media.

On the second segment, Museum of Fine Arts Houston Anne Wilkes Tucker discusses Heinecken as a conceptualist. On the occasion of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s 1999 Heinecken retrospective, Tucker gave a lecture in which she posited that in the future the conceptual nature of Heinecken’s practice would be more valued and more useful to other artists than it was then. We discuss whether or not her prediction came true. Tucker was most recently a guest on The MAN Podcast to discuss an MFAH exhibition she co-curated titled, “War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath.” [Image: Heinecken, Space/Time Metamorphosis no.1, 1975. Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.]

How to listen: Download the show directly to your PC/mobile device. Listen on SoundCloud. Subscribe to The MAN Podcast at iTunesSoundCloudStitcher or via RSS. Stream the program at MANPodcast.com.

The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. The program is edited by Wilson Butterworth. The MAN Podcast is released under this Creative Commons license.

Click through to the jump to see more images of art discussed on this week’s program.

Robert Heinecken, Are You Rea #1, 1964-68.

Robert Heinecken, Multiple Solution Puzzle, 1965.

Robert Heinecken, Figure in Six Selections, 1965.

Robert Heinecken, Child Guidance Toys, 1965. Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. [Click to expand.]

Robert Heinecken, V. N. Pin Up, 1968. Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

Robert Heinecken, MANSMAG: Homage to Werkman and Cavalcade. 1969.

Robert Heinecken, Periodical #5, 1971.

Robert Heinecken, Lessons in Posing Subjects/Matching Facial Expressions, 1981. Collection of the UCLA Grunwald Center for Graphic Art, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.

Robert Heinecken, Recto/Verso #2, 1988. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Robert Heinecken, Space/Time Metamorphosis No.1, 1975. Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
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