Robert Heinecken - The Odyssey of Collecting: Photographs from Joy of Giving Something Foundation, Part 1 New York Monday, April 3, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Joyce Neimanas, Albuquerque, 2006

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Superimpositional, negative (reversed) and combinational methods seem to me to be innate to the photographic process. The fact that light initially causes density and, hence, a reversed image seems relevant. The fact that the emulsion is on a transparent base seems important. The fact that emulsion can be applied to almost any surface is a gift.” Robert Heinecken

    Jack Jones and the Lennon Sisters #1 is a Heinecken tour-de-force combination of photography, pornography, and television, all put together with a characteristic touch of the artist’s subversive humor. The Lennon Sisters were a lily-white girl group from the 1950s; they got their start on the Lawrence Welk Show, a musical variety hour that was a staple of wholesome family entertainment in television’s early decades. For a brief period, from 1969 through 1970, the sisters had their own show, and a featured guest on one of the shows in 1970, the year the present work was made, was Jack Jones, a singer who covered pop tunes.

    Heinecken winks at us with his title: the real Jack Jones and the Lennon Sisters could not be further from the actors in the image offered here. Instead, we have a photograph likely taken from a pornographic magazine, enlarged to near-monumental size, reversed into a negative, and then applied to canvas. In typical Heinecken fashion, this is an image he experimented with in at least one other work, this time with a more suggestive title: the black-and-white, four-part “Different Strokes . . .” of the same year. A magpie of popular culture, Heinecken mixed and appropriated, reversed and transferred, and combined words with images that created an intellectual, sensory, and sometimes disorienting multi-media experience. He did not consider himself a photographer, but rather, in his words, a “paraphotographer.”

    Heinecken was a highly influential teacher, and he pre-dates the “Pictures Generation” by decades. Among his pupils at UCLA were John Divola (see Lot 228 ), Jo Anne Callis, and Robbert Flick (see Lot 227).

    The work offered here comes originally from the collection of Heinecken’s wife, the artist Joyce Neimanas, as does lot 187.


Jack Jones and the Lennon Sisters #1

Canvas panel with photographic emulsion, pastel chalk and graphite.
40 x 29 3/4 x 3/4 in. (101.6 x 75.6 x 1.9 cm)
Signed and dated in pencil on the recto; signed, titled and dated in pencil on the reverse of the canvas.

$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $37,500

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The Odyssey of Collecting: Photographs from Joy of Giving Something Foundation, Part 1

New York 3 April 2017