On View at the Getty Center: In Focus Los Angeles 1945-1980
With its reclining figure set against a densely patterned background, this image recalls the odalisques of French painter Henri Matisse (1869–1954). Traditional subjects and techniques, however, were of little interest to Robert Heinecken, who forged new directions in photography. He utilized the strategies of manipulation and appropriation to address the themes of consumer culture and sexual politics. After receiving his master’s degree in printmaking from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1960, Heinecken was hired to teach photography classes there. Three years later he founded the university’s photography program and continued to teach at UCLA until 1991. He created this cameraless photograph by using a page torn from a magazine as the negative, allowing light to pass through and merge the depictions on both sides of the page into a single image with reversed tones.