Heinecken's long career (as both an influential teacher and accomplished artist) is filled with rigorous explorations and deft parsings of the many meanings of photography. While often lumped in with other California conceptualists or associated with those at the beginnings of photographic appropriation, his path took him places few others have traveled: into the depths of consumerism, unpacking, mixing, and reusing nearly every known image reproduction process, combining hard core pornography, war imagery and comically empty advertising into a heady intellectual brew.
As a sampler, this show brings together light jokes and scathing critiques, understated beauty and explicit sexuality, brainy conceptualism and ironic juxtaposition. It's smart, witty, and caustically brash. But what I like best about this gathering of work is Heinecken's intense investigation of the medium, his willingness to disrespectfully rip into accepted truths and pull them apart, looking for the sometimes harsh effects and unplanned outcomes of an image saturated world.
- Features/Reviews: Village Voice (here), New Yorker (here), TimeOut New York (here), WNYC Gallerina (here)
Friedrich Petzel Gallery
535 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011