Shiva, the Lord Whose Half Is Woman

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist, 2006

  • Exhibited

    Robert Heinecken, Photographist: A Thirty-Five-Year Retrospective, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1 October- 28 November 1999, traveling to Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 13 February- 24 April 2000

  • Literature

    Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Robert Heinecken: Photographist, cover (cropped), pl. 94, fig. 4

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1989 the conceptual artist Robert Heinecken began a suite of collages based upon the Hindu deity Shiva. Heinecken’s grandfather had traveled to India as a missionary and married a Hindu woman. Inspired by his Hindu grandmother, Robert Heinecken maintained a lifelong interest in the religion, especially for the gender-shifting Shiva. Heinecken said, “Hinduism is the only religion where the boss can become anything: man, woman, tree . . . The love of sex, the poetry of sex, is so much tied into Hindu religion . . . I think you can find sexuality in everything, if you look closely enough, and I think it’s there in all my work” (told to A. D. Coleman, quoted in Robert Heinecken: Object Matter).

    Heinecken’s fascination with sexuality – and its appropriation by the media – is on full display in this work, which addresses Shiva’s dual gender in title and execution. Heinecken clipped and collaged magazine images over a three-dimensional form, creating a dazzlingly complex commentary that is simultaneously a celebration of Shiva’s polymorphism and an incisive critique of the vapidity of media culture.

209

Shiva, the Lord Whose Half Is Woman

1990
Relief collage of magazine advertisements.
83 3/4 x 48 x 3 1/2 in. (212.7 x 121.9 x 8.9 cm)
Signed, titled and dated in ink on the reverse of the flush-mount.

Estimate
$15,000 - 25,000 

sold for $11,250

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Rachel Peart
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Vanessa Hallett
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The Odyssey of Collecting: Photographs from Joy of Giving Something Foundation

New York 3 October 2017