Marc Selwyn Fine Art is pleased to present “Newswomen Corresponding,” a major exhibition of photographs by Robert Heinecken. The exhibition will center on Heinecken’s faux documentary work “A Case Study in Finding an Appropriate TV Newswomen (A CBS Docudrama in Words and Pictures),” 1984, in which he plays the role of an independent consultant for CBS news.
In this satirical search for a new network newswoman, Heinecken uses freeze frame photographs of correspondents and creates superimposed layered images to find the ideal male-female pair. Tapping into what he called “deeper subliminal visual levels,” the composite would produce an image of the ideal newscaster - intelligent, attractive and believable. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a ten-panel set from the sly case study that includes each image Heinecken studied, composites, and a fictitious text that details the behind-the-scenes network decision-making process. As Heinecken stated when describing the role of the American newswomen “their basic scenario was that men waking up in the United States and preparing to go to work do fantasize that they had spent the night with this attractive, sensual, intelligent, successful, professional woman (on the screen) and that they were now having a cup of cappuccino with her.”
Heinecken pushed the boundaries of the photographic medium, breaking through aesthetic and technical limitations of the genre. As the New York Times wrote in the artist’s 2006 obituary: “Instead of treating photographs as the autonomous creations of their makers, as did Ansel Adams and other postwar tastemakers, he viewed them as forms of cultural iconography that reflected the commercialism and venality of contemporary life. In this sense, he was a forerunner of appropriationist artists of the 1980's like Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine and Richard Prince, who borrowed and recontextualized existing photographic images culled from printed reproductions.”
Robert Heinecken received his BA (1959) and MFA (1960) from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1960 he was hired by U.C.L.A. and taught in the art department for the next 31 years, where he founded the department’s photography program (1964). Heinecken’s work was recently the subject of a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2007) and a 35-year retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1999) that toured to the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art that same year. His work has also recently appeared in Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980 and In Numbers: Serial Publications by Artists since 1955. In 2014, a retrospective of Heinecken’s work will be on view at Museum of Modern Art, New York (Marc-June, 2014) and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (October-January, 2015). Marc Selwyn Fine Art’s exhibition will run concurrent with an exhibition of the artist’s work at Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles.
For further information and images contact Marc Selwyn Fine Art at (323) 933-9911.