Robert Heinecken, ‘Socio Duo Habliment Studies #2’, 1981, The Kitchen

Courtesy of the Robert Heinecken Trust and Petzel Gallery, New York.

Self-described as a “para-photographer,” Robert Heinecken rarely took photographs himself, favoring instead cameraless techniques and the recontextualization of pre-existing images. In his series of three “Socio-Duo-Habliment Studies,” Heinecken arranged thirty polaroids of couples dressed in identical clothing, ranging from jerseys and raincoats to ski attire. Usurping the imagery of mail order catalogues and advertisements, Heinecken juxtaposes these photographs with ironic narration recounting the “S-D-H” workshops and positing their effect on the sexual and social relationships of each heterosexual couple pictured. Along with seminal works like Lessons in Posing Subjects (1981–82), this work by Heinecken effects an incisive critique of consumerism, gender stereotypes, and American popular culture. –Courtesy of The Kitchen

Framed, framed dimensions: 18 x 23 x 1.5 inches.

Signature: Recto

Image rights: Courtesy of the Robert Heinecken Trust, Petzel Gallery, and The Kitchen.

About Robert Heinecken

Over five decades, Robert Heinecken's work as an artist and teacher radically expanded the reach of photography. A precursor to appropriation artists of the 1980s, Heinecken is known for series like the influential "Are You Rea" (1966-67), in which he used magazine pages placed on light tables to create unexpected juxtapositions of advertising and feature photography. Deemed a "para-photographer" for his unconventional processes and irreverent attitude, Heinecken typically worked from found images, transforming them through methods like lithography, etching, and direct-exposure photograms.

American, 1931-2006, Denver, Colorado, based in Los Angeles, California