Opening reception: Friday March 7, 5:00pm – 7:30pm
Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present Dream/Circles/Cycles - its second exhibition of works by Robert Heinecken and the first major gallery review of his work since his death in 2006. These works are drawn from a prolific period between 1963 and 1974, and consist of photograms, black and white film transparencies, and a work on canvas.
The exhibition's title, Dream/Circles/Cycles, is derived from a 1973 series of nine black and white photographs created from superimposed negatives that are self-portraits of the artist in his studio over a ten year period. The work and title can be considered a reflection of Heinecken's experiences as an artist and the thematic/material concerns that he investigated over his career's entirety.
Formative exercises like the 1965 melancholic landscape Dark Trees served as a starting point for Heinecken's exploration of the aesthetic possibilities of photography as a material. During this time Heinecken also engaged in thematic societal taboos such as pornography, wherein he reveals and re-contextualizes provocative subjects and language. Heinecken explored language through a collision of circumstances in his seminal series, Are You Rea (1964-1968), where the creation of silver gelatin contact prints from magazine pages expose unexpected connections - sometimes foreboding, yet often humorous. This humor is evident in the large film transparency work Christmas Mistake (1971), where Heinecken superimposed a photograph of a nude pin-up over his children opening presents on Christmas morning so as to create what appears to be an accidental double exposure. The results of such works reveal our vulnerability to the ubiquity of all media, high and low.
Robert Heinecken (1931-2006) earned his MA from UCLA in 1960. In 1962 he initiated the Photography Program at UCLA based on the principles that photography was still in its infancy and needed to be explored beyond its traditional parameters. His work is held in numerous private and public collections around the world including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Centre Pompidou, Paris, The Center of Creative Photography, Arizona and The George Eastman House, New York. In 2007, his work was shown at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago in an exhibition entitled Sex and Food: a Memorial Exhibition, and at the Centre Pompidou in the group show entitled, Le Movement Des Images.