Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

Craft beer Fridays: Uinta Detour

Uinta Detour Double IPA: Aroma of honey and pine cone. Flavors of stone fruit, and something sweet and high-register, like schnapps. There’s lots of sweet here and almost no malt presence. Some faint grapefruit at the finish (and still more sweetness).

ABV: 9.5%.

My rating: 3.5.

RateBeer rating: 97 overall, 85 for style, weighted average of 3.66.

Brewery: Uinta Brewing Co., Salt Lake City.

The Modern Art Notes Podcast: Aperture #214

This week’s Modern Art Notes examines the new Aperture magazine (#214), which explores the growth and evolution of documentary photography.

The guests on this week’s program are:

Hito Steyerl, featured in Aperture #214 e-mailing with Bard professor Thomas Keenan about the role photographs play as a document of something that happened (or may have happened). Steyerl is a Berlin-based artist and filmmaker whose work often examines the mass proliferation of digital images. The Institute of Contemporary Arts London is showing her work in the exhibition “Hito Steyerl,” which runs through April 27. (In association with the exhibition, Steyerl has created a two-part edition for free download. Check it out.)

Emily Schiffer, whose “See Potential” project is featured in Aperture#214. She has received grants from the Open Society Foundation and the Magnum Foundation. “See Potential” was a project that used documentary photography to address the neglect of Chicago’s traditionally black neighborhoods. Working with Orrin Williams, the founder of the Center for Urban Transformation, Schiffer designed a project that identified community goals and that solicited community feedback on potential changes in those communities. During the program Schiffer mentions the work of Tonika Johnson and of Carlos Javier Ortiz.

Teru Kuwayama, who discusses his 2010-11 project “Basetrack” in Aperture #214. Kuwayama has received fellowships from the Hoover Institution, TED, the Dart Center at Columbia University and at Stanford. ”Basetrack” embedded five photographers embed within a Marine battalion in Afghanistan that was focused on counterinsurgency. The project documented the battalion’s work through photography and a specific, targeted use of social media platforms such as Flickr and Facebook. While the project is no longer on line in its original form, it is residually available at Facebook, Flickr, Vimeo and especially at Kuwayama’s Instagram page. Kuwayama also mentioned the project “30 Mosques.”

Talia Herman, a California-based journalist and photographer. Herman is a graduate of the International Center of Photography’s Documentary and Photojournalism Program and has worked on projects for The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Google and Men’s Journal. Last week Al Jazeera America featured Herman’s work in “Getting By,” part of the organization’s ongoing examination of poverty in America. As part of “Getting By,” AJAM asked people living below the federal poverty line to share their stories. Russ Bowers of Guerneville, Calif., wrote in, and AJAM selected his story to tell through his own words and through Herman’s pictures. Herman and I also discussed this image of the California drought. [Image: Talia Herman, untitled, 2014. The image is of Bowers' 'hippie jar.']

Aperture #214: Check out the table of contents for Aperture #214, and purchase a copy for under $20. Subscribe to a full year of the magazine for $75.

How to listen: Download the show directly to 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.

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Monet and the shiny new bridge

As you may have heard by now, the second segment of this week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Saint Louis Art Museum curator Simon Kelly talking about “Impressionist France: Visions of Nation from Le Gray to Monet,” which is on view at SLAM through July 6. Kelly co-curated the exhibition with Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art curator April M. Watson.

Fortunately, and despite the show’s title, “Impressionist France” isn’t a project about impressionist painting. Instead, it’s a look at how artists — both painters and photographers — engaged with and helped shape France’s emerging national identity between 1850-80, a period during which France cycled through several governments and lost the Franco-Prussian War (and along with it Alsace and Lorraine) to Germany. The exhibition’s catalogue, available from Amazon for under $30, is one of the smartest catalogues of 19th-century French history and art history I’ve seen in a number of years.

Here are a couple of images that suggest the book’s thrust. (I have not seen the exhibition.) The picture at the top of this post is Jules Andrieu’s photograph Disasters of the War: Pont d’Argenteuil from 1870 or 1871. It’s at the National Gallery of Canada and it’s in the SLAM/Nelson-Atkins book. The railroad bridge in the picture was destroyed by a German attack.

In a famed series of paintings, Claude  Monet celebrated the post-war rebuilding of that same bridge, a series of paintings that effectively argue that French greatness had returned after the humiliating defeat of 1870 (and after the Commune of 1871, for that matter). The Philadelphia painting is in the SLAM exhibition.

Listen to or download The MAN Podcast on SoundCloud, via direct-link mp3, or subscribe to The MAN Podcast (for free) at:

Claude  Monet, The Railroad Bridge at Argenteuil, 1873.

Claude  Monet, The Railroad Bridge at Argenteuil, 1873-84. Collection of the Musee d’Orsay, Paris.

Claude  Monet, Railroad Bridge, Argenteuil, 1874. Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The logging and the mudslide

Timothy Egan, one of our best writers on the West, wrote in the NYT yesterday about the utter predictability of the Snohomish County, Wash. mudslide that killed 24 people. (Almost two dozen more remain missing.) Egan, who in 2010 wrote a marvelous book about our forests, tells the story of a visit he made to Washington years ago, into an area that had been over-logged and the then-active mudslide he saw. He described what he saw then as “saturated earth that was melting, like candle wax.” Then Egan drew the line of connection between logging and last month’s mudslide:

[S]ure enough, logging above the area of the current landslide appears to have gone beyond the legal limits, into the area that slid, according to a report in The Seattle Times.

Yes, but who wants to listen to warnings by pesky scientists, to pay heed to predictions by environmental nags, or allow an intrusive government to limit private property rights? That’s how these issues get cast. And that’s why reports like the ones done on the Stillaguamish get shelved…

Perhaps the people who don’t wish to scientists might consider looking at the pictures of Robert Adams. Over the last 40 years Adams has taken pictures of Pacific Northwest landscapes scarred by environment-destroying clear-cutting. A few are below. More are in Adams’ extraordinary 2005 book “Turning Back,” and in the three-volume publication of Adams’ work the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale University Press published in 2011. (The retrospective exhibition for which it was published is now at the Jeu de Paume in Paris.) Adams and I also discussed these issues when he was a guest on The Modern Art Notes Podcast.

Robert Adams, Clear-cut and Burned, East of Arch Cape, Oregon, 1976. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Robert Adams, Clear-cut and Burned, East of Arch Cape, Oregon, 1976. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Robert Adams, Clatsop County, Oregon, from the series “Turning Back,” 1999-2003.

Robert Adams, Coos County, Oregon, from the series “Turning Back,” 1999-2003.

Robert Adams, Clatsop County, Oregon, from the series “Turning Back,” 1999-2003.

The Monday Checklist

1.) Must-read review: Steven Litt in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on the condition of the Cleveland Museum of Art.

2.) Critical thoughts (edition of six): Karen Rosenberg on Maria Lassnig at PS1. Brian Phillips and Judy Murray in Grantland on Yoko Ono. Sebastian Smee in the Boston Globe on Hans Op de Beeck at the MIT List Visual Arts Center. Fernanda Eberstadt in the NYT on Siri Hustvedt’s Guerilla Girls-tinged art-world novel. Alexandra Lange on Dezeen on Mexico’s national anthropology museum vs. the New York museum experience. Andrew Russeth in Gallerist/NYO on “Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties” at the Brooklyn Museum. [Image at top: Artemisia Gentileschi, Self-Portrait as a Lute Player, 1616-18. Collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Conn.]

3.) Must-read journalism: Martin Coomer in Time Out London with Phyllida Barlow.

4.) Journalism (edition of eight): Ted Loos in the NYT on Tadao Ando, Michael Conforti and the Clark Art Institute. Mike Boehm in the LAT on the Delaware Art Museum’s widely criticized plan to sell art. Philip Boroff in Artnet News on executive salaries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Jen Graves in The Stranger on Ann Hamilton’s forthcoming Seattle project. Raphael Minder in the NYT on Portugal’s hoped-for Miro sale. Deborah Vankin in the LAT on Helen Pashgian at LACMA. Kelly Crow in the WSJ on the forthcoming season of Whistler (which failed to include Daniel E. Sutherland’s new biography of the artist). Mostafa Heddaya in Hyperallergic on the latest Guggenheim protest. [Image: President Obama at the Rijksmuseum, by Pete Souza.]

5.) Museum/institutional feature (print): Yao Jui-chung on Creative Time Reports on Taiwan’s ‘mosquito halls.’

6.) Museum feature (audio/visual): A 2005 conversation between Marilyn Minter and Joshua Sharkey at SFMOMA, newly uploaded to SFMOMA’s SoundCloud page.

7.) Three tweets: From Phyllis Tuchman. From Javier Pes. From Mark B. Schlemmer.

8.) Twitter feed to follow: Eva Respini, Museum of Modern Art, New York curator (and curator of “Robert Heinecken: Object Matter”).

9.) Tumblr feed to follow: It’s Never Summer. [Image at right: Phyllida Barlow, dock (a commission at the Tate Britain that opens today), 2014.]

10.) This week on The Modern Art Notes Podcast: From the Brooklyn Museum’s “Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties” exhibition, Barkley L. Hendricks. Also, the co-curator of the oddly titled “Impressionist France” at the Saint Louis Art Museum, Simon Kelly. 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.

11.) Other Modern Art Notes Podcast news: Phyllida Barlow’s Duveen Commission at the Tate opens today. Barlow was the guest for the full hour on Episode No. 109, when she was on view in the Carnegie International.

12.) Web-accessible sound/video art: Lisa Oppenheim, Smoke (Channel 1, Channel 2), 2013. On view now at MASS MoCA in “The Dying of the Light: Film as Medium and Metaphor.”

13.) Artwork in the public domain: Edouard Manet, The Rue Mosnier with Flags, 1878. Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum. Included in the exhibition “Impressionist France” at the Saint Louis Art Museum. For more on the painting the context of “Impressionist France,” see these two images on MANPodcast.com.

14.) Art book in the public domain: “The Photographs of Édouard Baldus,” by Malcolm Daniel. Published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Baldus is prominently featured in “Impressionist France.” [Image at right: Baldus, Viaduc de St. Chamus, before 1859. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.]

15.) Non-art must-read: Mark Danner in the New York Review of Books with “He Remade Our World,” on Dick Cheney.

Last night’s Corc-NGA-GWU panel now online

The audio from the conversation Washington Post art/architecture critic Philip Kennicott, Architect magazine senior editor and Washington CityPaper contributor Kriston Capps and I had last night about the Corcoran-National Gallery of Art-George Washington University situation is now online.

Three quick takeaways:

  • For many years, the legacy media in Washington have treated the National Gallery of Art with great deference, as if it was an institution to be honored rather than examined. Well, not any more. For the first time in the 15-plus years I’ve been in Washington, the city’s critical community substantially agrees on something: That the NGA is no longer beyond probative criticism. The panel unloaded on the NGA, and nearly every criticism of the institution was met with nods and even Sunday-at-church-style that’s rights from the audience. (Nor was the surprising critical near-consensus on the NGA limited to issues related to the NGA’s proposed takeover of the Corcoran). NGA leaders would be wise to listen closely, to take the community’s criticisms seriously — and then to make meaningful changes in how it operates.
  • The panelists were in agreement at the District of Columbia attorney general may be able to impact the presumed Corcoran/NGA/GWU deal. Ace Post reporter David Montgomery suggested he’ll be looking into how the AG could play a role.
  • Washington takes seriously the Corcoran’s long-standing role as the custodian of the city’s art history. The NGA must find a way to address that issue.

In addition to the audio of last night’s conversation, the Post has provided a handy reading list of what Capps, Kennicott and I have written on the story.

The MAN Podcast: Barkley Hendricks

This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Barkley L. Hendricks.

Hendricks is included in the Brooklyn Museum exhibition “Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties,” which examines how 66 artists addressed the civil rights struggle in their work. Curated by Teresa Carbone and Kellie Jones, the show is on view through July 6. The exhibition’s handsome catalogue is available from Amazon for under $30.

In 2008 Hendricks was the subject of a major retrospective organized by Trevor Schoonmaker for the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. The exhibition traveled to Houston, Philadelphia, New York and Santa Monica.  His work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Tate, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Harvard Art Museums.

Among the topics we discuss are:

  • Whether Hendricks sought to address the civil rights movements in his work;
  • Whether like Kerry James Marshall and other artists of their generation if Hendricks explicitly sought to insert black figures into the canon;
  • The genesis of his ‘limited palette’ series, which are portraits that feature the sitters and the backgrounds of the same color; and
  • How his extensive world travels has informed his work.

On the second segment, Saint Louis Art Museum curator Simon Kelly talks about “Impressionist France: Visions of Nation from Le Gray to Monet,” which is on view at the SLAM through July 6. Kelly co-curated the exhibition with Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art curator April M. Watson. Despite the show’s title, this isn’t really an exhibition of impressionist painting. Instead it looks at how artists — both painters and photographers — engaged with and helped shape France’s emerging national identity between 1850-80, a period during which France cycled through several governments and lost the Franco-Prussian War (and along with it Alsace and Lorraine) to Germany. The exhibition’s catalogue, available from Amazon for under $30,  is one of the smartest catalogues of 19th-century French history and art history a number of years. [Image: Auguste-Rosalie Bisson, The Ascent of Mont Blanc, 1861. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.]

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. Special thanks to Greg Allen, Trevor Schoonmaker and to the National Gallery of Art library for their assistance.

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

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Heinecken and Berman

I’m away today. Given yesterday’s post about Robert Heinecken, it seems a good time to refer folks to this post about the terrific Robert Heinecken-Wallace Berman exhibition that was at Pasadena’s Armory Center for the Arts as a part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time series of shows.

Robert Heinecken’s Great American Nude

As both of the guests on last week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast predicted, another Robert Heinecken exhibition has brought new charges that Heinecken was a misogynist, an anti-feminist, and so on. I’m no Heinecken expert, but Respini and Tucker are. They both scoffed at the calcifying stereotype of Heinecken as cro-magnon.

However, Respini suggested that she thinks Heinecken meanders libindously in one particular group of work, namely a series of early 1970s photographic emulsion works on canvas. Here’s how Respini describes that body of work in her catalogue essay (which you may read for free, in its entirety, here):

In the early 1970s Heinecken began using photographic emulsion on canvas, also known as photo-linen, to produce hybrid photographic paintings, including the Figure Horizon works [three of which are in the MoMA exhibition]. For these, Heinecken reprised the cut-and-reassemble techniques from his puzzles and photo-sculptures, sequencing images of sections of the nude female body (culled from The Latent Image negatives) like a filmstrip, to create impossible, undulating landscapes. [The Latent Image was a mail-order business that sold unprocessed rolls of film of pin-ups and soft-core porn that could be developed in your home, thus circumventing laws that banned the shipping of sexually explicit pictures over state lines.]

I understand why critics look at the totality of Heinecken’s oeuvre and reflexively pronounce him to be a misogynist anti-feminist. There are a lot of female nudes there, many of them built from images at which the art world likes to scoff because they’re mostly derived from the lesser sphere of visual culture. One of Heinecken’s strengths was finding ways to use the overwhelming volume of images that Americans made and loved to say something about America. So to really think about Heinecken and his accomplishment, I think it’s useful to do a deep-dive into individual works. Here goes.

One of the photo-emulsion works to which Respini referred — the best of the bunch, I think — is at the top of the post. It’s Heinecken’s Space/Time Metamorphosis No.1 (1975), and it’s in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. (It is not one of the photo-emulsion works that comes from a Latent Image picture, and it’s not in the MoMA retrospective.) I think Space/Time was Heinecken’s attempt to create A Great American Nude, a pointedly American — and especially a Californian — address of a European tradition. As Respini and Tucker pointed out on The MAN Podcast, Heinecken wasn’t just a consumer of contemporary media, he was an acute student of art history. Here’s how I read Space/Time Metamorphosis No. 1 (and how I suspect Heinecken thought it through).

A s we all know, the reclining nude in a landscape is a European tradition that goes back at least to Giorgione.

Giorgione (landscape and sky finished by Titian), Sleeping Venus, 1510. Collection of the Gemäldegalerie, Dresden.

That is one mighty suggestive left hand. I wasn’t around in the 16th century, but it sure seems to me like that left hand is more shocking in the context of its time than anything in this Heinecken is in the context of the late 20th century. (In a related story: In an interview with Arthur Ou on Aperture’s website, Respini referred to the way once outre images become tamer over time.)

Titian, The Bacchanal of the Andrians, 1523-26. Collection of the Prado, Madrid.

Inspired, and no doubt motivated, by Giorgione’s painting, Titian created a number of classical-referencing Venuses. The Andrians doesn’t just feature a reclining nude, itself one of the most remarkable figures in all art, it features a swirl of movement behind that figure. The sense is of a party in motion, many moments caught in a single frame. Titian achieves that sense of movement and celebration from how he constructed the painting. Titian built The Andrians with a complicated set of overlapping diagonals, diagonals that pull us into the scene and hold us there. There isn’t a single horizontal line or line-of-sight in the entire painting. (Not one!)

Just as The Andrians is built on diagonals, so too is Heinecken’s Space/Time. It even includes one diagonal that seems particularly cribbed from The Andrians: The diagonal at the top of the image that serves to gently contain the action. In the Titian, that top diagonal runs from the satyr in the upper-right of the canvas down to the jug-carrier on the left edge of the painting. In Space/Time it runs along the model’s outstretched arms. And just as Titian built his composition without any horizontals, so too did Heinecken.

That’s not to suggest Heinecken is hewing only to 16th-century Venice. Take Heinecken’s presentation of his model’s gaze. In the Giorgione and in the Titan, the nude’s eyes are closed or are otherwise avoiding the viewer. In the Heinecken, the nude is looking right back out at us, and with fierceness. There’s plenty of art historical precedent for that, including in Titian, in Goya, and in Manet.

Titian, Venus of Urbino, 1538. Collection of the Uffizi, Florence.

Francisco de Goya, The Nude Maja, ca. 1797-1800. Collection of the Prado, Madrid.

Edouard Manet, Luncheon on the Grass, 1863. Collection of the Musee d’Orsay, Paris.

The tradition of the European nude continued into the twentieth century, most notably with Matisse, Picasso, Modigliani and Bonnard. I suspect there are references to Matisse and Picasso in Space/Time.

Pablo Picasso, Three Women, 1907. Collection of The Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

Consider the under-known Three Women, Picasso’s updating of a classical standard: the three graces picture. The Heinecken features three primary figures (and hides a fourth, a woman in the lower left-hand corner who reclines with her hand behind her head, a thoroughly classical pose). Like the Picasso, Space/Time features one woman three times.

The more direct crib from Picasso comes in the left foreground, where both artists bend the rules of physics: In Three Women, Picasso includes what seems to be the fold of a curtain or some rocks in a way that either breaks up or joins two of his three women. In that section a woman’s body seems to occupy the same space as does the drapery or the rock. Heinecken does the same thing, in almost the exact same part of the canvas. (And remember: Heinecken is using his language, photography, to address a standard of painting, the nude, on painting’s surface, canvas.)

Henri Matisse, Blue Nude (Memory of Biskra), 1907. Collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Then there’s Matisse. One of the revolutionary things about Matisse’s great Blue Nude is the pentimenti, not just that they’re there, but that they’re fundamental to the painting (and that they pictorially tie the painting to the sculpture on which it was based). The pentimenti in Blue Nude is almost exaggerated: Matisse hasn’t just left pentimenti in place, he’s practically used a highlighter to direct our gaze to the nude’s ‘left breast, her right upper-arm and to her left lower-leg.

There is no pentimenti in Heinecken’s picture — at least not exactly. Heinecken may be pointedly working on canvas, but he’s not using oils. So he uses his chosen medium to do what Matisse did with his, to create ghost-like, pentimenti-referring presences below and to the left of his ‘primary’ nude.

That’s a lot of references to a lot of nudes. But Heinecken isn’t done. If his project with this piece (and with plenty of others) was to Americanize the European nude, the next question is how to do that? Answer: To ground the nude within the greatest subject of American art, both painting and photography: landscape.

Carleton Watkins, First View of the Valley, ca. 1866. Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

Carleton Watkins, View from the Sentinel Dome, 1865-66. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Ansel Adams, Mount Williamson, Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, 1944. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Heinecken was a Californian through and through. He was raised in Riverside, earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles and later established the photography program there. Heinecken knew California. He knew that California’s trademark feature was her mountains and that her trademark mountain topography was the Yosemite Valley. The Valley is glacier-carved granite, a super-hard rock from which much of the Sierra is formed. Granite has a particular look, especially in the bright sunlight when it bounces back so much light that to be in a Sierra granitescape can feel like being next to the sea. That’s why Californian John Muir called the Sierra the “Range of Light.”

Heinecken also knew California’s art history. And in that art history granite, the Sierra, and Yosemite are all front-and-center. The first great landscapes made in California were made in Yosemite by Carleton Watkins in 1861. For the rest of his career Watkins would return to the Sierra to photograph granite and the pictorial effects that could be coaxed from its remarkable surfaces and the light it reflected. Ansel Adams, a huge Watkins fan, also photographed lots and lots of granite, and not just in Yosemite. Virtually every prominent artist in the West has made work of and about Yosemite, including William Henry Jackson, Eadweard MuybridgeThomas Hill, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Anne BrigmanGeorgia O’Keeffe, Chiura Obata, David Hockney, and Wayne Thiebaud (more on him in a minute).

So Heinecken posed his Great American Nude in the only landscape that a Californian possibly could: In Yosemite, on granite.

Oh, and about that nude. For what may have been his greatest American nude, Heinecken chose a model who was at hand, as it were. Her name is Twinka Thiebaud. In 1975, when Heinecken made Space/Time, he and Thiebaud were an item. (This relationship would eventually lead to the end of Heinecken’s relationship with his wife, Janet.) Thiebaud possessed the necessary physical gifts to be a Great American Nude, but Heinecken must also have realized she fit in other ways too: Twinka is the daughter of Wayne, and thus was a member of one of American and Californian art’s royal families.

Wayne Thiebaud, Supine Woman, 1963. Collection of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Ark.

Wayne occasionally painted his daughter, such as here, when she was 18. Twinka posed for other artists too, including for Mary Ellen Mark and Ralph Gibson. In 1974 she was one of two models in a famous Judy Dater photograph titled Imogen and Twinka at Yosemite. The other model was indeed that Imogen, Cunningham (herself a Westerner who worked for Edward Curtis and later with Edward Weston and Dorothea Lange). Dater’s picture — which, the next year, would become famous as the first picture of frontally nude woman in Life magazine — was a send-up of the relationship between artist and model, American prudery, American art’s preference for landscape over the nude (Cunningham looks utterly perplexed by the nude she has discovered) and the related question of which is the greater beauty.

Judy Dater, Imogen and Twinka at Yosemite, 1974. Collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Heinecken appreciated the landscape’s role in American art, but he preferred the European subject. I suspect he had a particularly good chuckle at Dater’s picture and that he wanted to top it. As luck would have it, just about when that issue of Life magazine came out, Heinecken and Thiebaud were in Yosemite for a nude photography seminar that Heinecken had organized. (A photograph of the happy couple at Yosemite is on page 164 of Respini’s Heinecken catalogue.) This may have been when Heinecken thought of how to one-up Dater as it were, to speed past Puckish and to make a more serious Great American Nude.

And so he did. The resulting picture is one of Heinecken’s masterpieces, a thoroughly arresting picture of the requisite beautiful woman with the much-admired body of the time presented in ways that reference half a millennium of art history.

I understand why Heinecken’s oeuvre is critically sideswiped as reflexively misogynistic. Like every artist, some of his pictures are better and more thoughtful than others. But when I lock in on individual Heineckens, I find an abundance of intelligence and intent.

The Monday Checklist

1.) Must-read review: Christopher Knight in the LAT advancing Mike Kelley’s traveling retrospective with a semi-eulogy for the artist. [Image above: Kelley, More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid and The Wages of Sin, 1987. Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.]

2.) Critical thoughts (edition of five): Holland Cotter in the NYT on Jasper Johns at MoMA. Maika Pollack in Gallerist/NYO on “Other Primary Structures” at The Jewish Museum. Karen Rosenberg in the NYT on Robert Heinecken at MoMA. Sanford Schwartz in The New York Review of Books on Piero at the Metropolitan. Yasmine El Rashidi in the NYRB on Shirin Neshat. [Image below, right: Piero, St. Jerome in the Wilderness, 1450. Collection of the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.]

2a.) One more thing: Me on NYT’s Lens drawing links between California’s crushing, ongoing drought and how Carleton Watkins’ remarkable pictures of Kern County helped lead to the conversion of desert into farmland.

3.) Must-read journalism: Abe Ahn in Hyperallergic on Ron Athey at the Hammer Museum.

4.) Journalism (edition of one): Scott Shoger in Nuvo on the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s curatorial plans (or lack thereof).

5.) Museum feature (print): Sarah Haug on the Guggenheim’s “Foundings” blog on when “Joseph Cornell applied to work at the Guggenheim.”

6.) Museum feature (audio/visual): John Elderfield on Matisse (and Bob Dylan?!) at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

7.) Three tweets: From Museopunks. From Marilyn Minter. From Ben Street.

8.) Twitter feed to follow: Boston Globe art critic Sebastian Smee.

9.) Tumblr feed to follow: MuseuMuseum.

10.) This week on The Modern Art Notes Podcast: Dutch painter Carla Klein, who is showing new work at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery and Nayland Blake, who is featured in “Take It Or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology,” at the Hammer Museum. 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.

11.) Other Modern Art Notes Podcast news: Many of you have asked, so I’m working on sharing this Thursday event on the Corcoran/National Gallery of Art/George Washington University situation with MAN Podcast listeners. Look for an update on Tuesday.

12.) Web-accessible sound/video art: Richard Serra, Railroad Turnbridge, 1976. Via UbuWeb.

13.) Artwork in the public domain: Francesco Francia, Virgin and Child: The Gambaro Madonna, 1495. Collection of the Yale University Art Gallery.

14.) Art book in the public domain: “All the Mighty World: The Photographs of Roger Fenton,” by numerous authors. The catalogue of the 2004 Fenton retrospective. From the Metropolitan Museum of Art. [Image above, right: Roger Fenton, Domes of Churches in the Kremlin, 1852. Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington.]

15.) Non-art must-read: Drew Gilpin Faust in NYRB on the scholar who re-told the story of slavery.