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Robert Heinecken: Copywork

Essay by Kevin Moore


Robert Heinecken

Surrealism on TV, 1986

Courtesy Petzel Gallery, New York

Robert Heinecken (1931– 2006) has been called one of America's most influential contemporary conceptual photographers and yet he rarely used a camera. His definition of photography encompassed everything related to the photograph; rather than focusing on the photographic image as a creation derived solely from a camera, his interest was on the relation of methods and formalism—often in an irreverent and humorous way—to popular media.


This first large-scale monograph, Copywork presents an overview of Henicken's work from the 1960s to the 1990s, highlighting his exploration of the material possibilities of the medium, and how he created new methods to record and produce photographic objects using collage, lithography, Polaroid, silver gelatin prints, color processes, digital prints, and experimental uses of darkroom chemistry.


The book features a full portfolio of one of the artist's best-known works: the Are You Real series (1964 – 1968), a series which began as photograms of magazines and newspapers that were subsequently made into gelatin silver prints and finally became an edition of lithographs.


Published in association with Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles; Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York; and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles.

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