First edition, first printing. Hardcover. Fine white linen cloth, with title stamped in black on front cover and spine and four-color plate tipped in front cover, no dust jacket as issued. Photographs by Robert Heinecken. Essay by Robert Slemmons. Edited by Luke Batten and Jonathan Sadler. 44pp. (unpaginated), with 23 four-color plates. Beautifully printed on fine matt art paper. 14 1/4 x 11 1/4 inches. This first edition was limited to 1000 copies.
CONDITION: New in publisher's shrink-wrap.
Robert Heinecken is one of the most innovative and influential artists of the second half of the 20th century. He was a pioneer of postmodern photographic practices, and his work anticipated the Pictures Generation artists of the 1970s and 1980s who practiced the appropriation of images from advertising and the media. A self-described “para-photographer,” Heinecken was always challenging the conventions of the then-accepted “canon” of photography. He transformed the possibilities of the medium, and had a profound impact on many photography-based artists who studied with him. Influenced by Dada and Surrealism, especially Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and John Heartfield, Heinecken worked with numerous photographic techniques and materials, oftentimes combining them with various printmaking processes. In addition to offset lithography and etching, he made use of film transparencies, photographic emulsion on canvas, gelatin silver prints mounted to wood (e.g., "Multiple Solution Puzzle" Series), Polaroid materials, mixed media collage and photograms (e.g., ARE YOU REA and Recto/Verso Series). His source materials included popular “lifestyle” magazines, advertising, images taken directly from television screens, pornography and news photographs. Through his ground-breaking works, Heinecken transformed American notions of consumerism, war, eroticism and mass media.
From the publisher: "Recto/Verso is the latest attempt to grasp the magnitude of the monumental archive of photograms that Robert Heinecken created during the past 40 years. In this current sampling, comprised of work from his own archive, Heinecken offers a look back at the decade of the 1980s, where decadence and narcissism inhabit the same space as spirituality and family values. Though the patinas of these color photograms speak of that generation, their revelations are contemporary in their incisiveness. In looking at the history of the photogram, beginning with Henry Fox Talbot's 'photogenic drawings' and Man Ray's 'Rayographs', Heinecken must be viewed as its most rebellious practitioner -- unflinching, enigmatic and alert. Robert Heinecken's work has been widely exhibited in the United States, Europe and Asia, and is included in many major collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; LA County Museum of Art; and the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson."