ROBERT BERMAN GALLERY presents TRANSFORMATION – conceptual photography from Robert Heinecken and Victor Landweber, appropriating magazine imagery (the former) and paint chip color cards (the latter) as a companion show to PAID TO PLAY – an overview of California illustrators from 1945-1985. TRANSFORMATION has now relocated from our D5 Gallery, to become a part of our LOST & FOUND exhibition at B7 Gallery.
PAID TO PLAY studies art used for commerce and TRANSFORMATION explores commerce used for art.
In Robert Heinecken’s Recto/Verso photogram portfolio – a single page from a mass circulation magazine depicting women and fashion is placed in direct contact with color photographic paper and exposed to light. The resulting image superimposes the visual and verbal information from the front and back of the magazine page without the use of collage, manipulation or other handwork.
Victor Landweber’s Cherie Holding Colored Cards is a photographic series shot in 1976 juxtaposing nudes with colored card paint samples.
Both series examine sexuality in relationship to consumerist culture and identity in the seventies and eighties as influenced originally by pinup images from the forties and fifties.
Recto/Verso was published by Landweber/Artists in 1989 in an edition of fifty plus ten artist’s proof sets. The portfolio is composed of twelve original 11” x 14” Cibachrome photograms, signed by the artist and presented in 16” x 20” museum board mats.
Twelve writers were each asked to address one of the Recto/Verso photograms. Their texts are printed on document-grade vellum slipsheets that overlay the prints. The writers include Alex Sweetman, Van Deren Coke, Irene Borger, Susie Cohen, A.D. Coleman, Claire Peeps, Lynn McLanahan Herbert, Mark Johnstone, James Enyeart, Annie Tucker, Joyce Fernanes, Billy Jay, A. Grundberg & J. Scully.
The portfolio also includes a vintage, numbered and signed copy from the original edition of Robert Heinecken’s 1968 Are You Rea portfolio of twenty-five lithographs with a new introduction by Alex Sweetman. Recto/Verso is in the permanent collections of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, New York Public Library and Museum of Modern Art, New York.