robert heinecken

An Interview with Robert Heinecken – “Photographist” Pt. 2 (1996)

Porno Film Strip #4, 1972

Lithographic film
57 x 17 1/4 inches


LEHMER: All right. So let me rephrase that. There was an interesting statement made by an artist about the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, that they always have photography exhibited in the hallways of the museum outside of the main galleries. They would shove it into the hallways with the idea that it was exhibited but not given the prominence of a main gallery that you might give to a large group of paintings. The mistake was made in failing to recognize the fact that everybody had to go to the bathroom or go from one gallery to another down that hallway. No matter what gallery people went to see, they would almost always see the photography, because it was in the hallway.

HEINECKEN: Well, that’s a very interesting fact, and funny in a way, ironic. But I was just thinking in that museum, which of course was not built as a museum but was made into one, the scale of the galleries still just eats photographs up. It’s a bunch of little postage stamps laying in a huge space, right? It’s not until much more recently–like probably their new museum, which I haven’t seen yet, actually- -they would design some galleries for photography. They wouldn’t have twenty- foot ceilings. You would have intimate, broken-up spaces so that it’s not as cavern-like as you need for their Clyfford Still paintings or whatever. So that’s another development, really.

When you were saying San Francisco art museum–it wasn’t called that then, and I can’t think of the guy’s name who was curator there for years–that was one of the institutions that had a collection of photography rather–

LEHMER: Was that [F.] Van Deren Coke?

HEINECKEN: No, before him. Van Deren Coke really made it into a very prestigious, full collection of photographs. He bought a lot of stuff. But he had a kind of importance because of his own career in writing and whatever that he was an equal to any other curator. I want to say– I’ll think of it later. But, I mean, this first curator [John Humphrey] was like a minor figure there. He’d been there a long time. He was in charge of photographs and prints, maybe, but he just didn’t have any clout. That museum was, is still, one of the few where you could go and see photographs. The other was the Art Institute of Chicago, which very early on had a collection of photographs given by Julien Levy, I think was his name, who collected all the surrealist photographs. So they can always have those to look at there. And to some extent the Museum of Modern Art, also. But those three certainly were the only ones that had any kind of viable program.

LEHMER: I think something I feel we still haven’t– Let me give it one more shot here. You make work, and then you find out that it is valuable. You begin to see someone receive your work with white gloves, so to speak. How did you keep that knowledge of fame in check? I sense–and tell me if I’m right or not–that you have done a good job, as much as can be expected, of not being influenced by the fame. In other words, as Edward Weston said, the one thing he was most afraid of was imitating himself. I’m thinking of my friend the painter up in Montana, the Native American, who says that it’s hard for him to do new work because of the demands by the galleries to keep making what was previously successful. I feel that you have a healthy balance between recognizing and taking yourself seriously, and yet you seem to have the ability and the freedom, through discipline, of creating new work. What I’m getting at is there’s a conflict between making work on a more ideal or pure level and satisfying a market. I sense a potential conflict between your personal art making and your career. Can you expand
on that? How did you deal with it? Do you agree?

HEINECKEN: Well, sure. I think everybody faces basically those kinds of dichotomies about how to construct a life and a body of material, whatever it might be, without getting into some kind of rut. I have a conscious way of — I don’t know if this answers the particular question — leapfrogging, where I’ll be working on something maybe for a month or two or something, but before that’s wrapped up–you know, finished as an idea–I’ll start something else which hopefully will be related to the previous work but investigates either a new structure or a new subject or a new something, so that it’s leapfrogging. Before, what I have run into occasionally, which made me adopt this system, is that when you work for a period of time–it could be long, it could be short- -you finish it, and you know it’s finished, but you don’t have anything to do next, so you’ve got to stop and think. I don’t do that effectively. I’m lazy like everybody else in some sense.

This leapfrogging idea is one way of not having a kind of stasis period after finishing something, so that there’s always something that ‘ s underway in the gestation period before the other thing is actually finalized. I usually try to induce that idea in some form into student ‘ s works so that they don’t see it as a project that you finish and then you’ve got to find another project and stuff like that. It’s a way of making it more seamless, a way of spending your time.

LEHMER: In a sense you’ve answered the question of how do you deal with the crash after a major exhibition has been hung. My question– I don’t think we’ve answered quite yet what I’m struggling with. Another angle on this would be — Let’s say you hang a strong body of work. You feel damn good about it, and it’s received well. What keeps you from continuing that? How do you feel because of the success? I mean, we’re all social human beings. We like it when people appreciate what we attempt to do.

HEINECKEN: Well, I think it’s temperamental in me. I’m as interested in the visibility of my work as anyone else would be. I do see and understand the possible consequences. You see it in other individuals, even your friends, whoever. This leapfrogging thing is not a device to prevent that, but temperamentally, by this time, I’ve figured out– What’s very interesting to me is that someone who knew past work that I ‘ ve made could go into a new one-person exhibition someplace where they didn’t even know what it would be and recognize that it was my work without having my name on it. Not because it’s stylistically similar, because I don’t do that. I’ll actually make some very clean breaks in stopping something then starting doing something else. But the spirit of why one would do this is the same.

It’s like [Marcel] Duchamp. Duchamp only made maybe fifty, sixty things, but each one was different. The clue to knowing it’s him is that no one would do that. No one else would have the mind to do that or the silliness to do it or the temperament to do it. So he invents what is called a “ready-made, ” which is probably equal in importance in the history of art to C6zanne. He only made a few things, but each one was unique, yet you would say, “That’s got to be a Duchamp.” It’s that crazy, or it’s that ready-made based, or it’s something like that. If I had a hero it would be him, as opposed to anybody else. Does that–?


HEINECKEN: I don’t do it much anymore because it’s too much work, but during this time period, if I finished a new body of material that hadn’t been shown or seen, I’d make slides of it. Then I would send those sets of slides out to the five or six people that I thought– Like Nathan or Szarkowski or whoever. That’s just a toss-away. It’s just like, “Here’s what I’m doing.” They appreciate that, because they don’t know who’s out in California or who’s here. So that’s definitely a career thing. It’s keeping people informed of what you’re doing, because they’re not going to come looking for you.

LEHMER: Exactly.

HEINECKEN: They might see it when it comes to their city if it does, but if it doesn’t–

LEHMER: Okay, this brings me to another point. I don’t want this —

HEINECKEN: This is not, by the way, to induce a sale. It is to keep the five or seven people–curators–who have shown past interest in the work informed of what I’m doing, so that if someone says, “I want to do a show about this or that,” then someone will say, “Oh, I remember Heinecken had something like that.” You know, that kind of stuff.


HEINECKEN: So it’s not a pushy way. It’s like writers, poets, whatever, they’re always exchanging stuff once it’s done. You know, they want their peers to know what they’re doing. They’re not sleeping somewhere. There’s another point there. Well, I lost it.

But one thing that I was going to say, too, is that I’ve had some bad reviews. I’ve had pictures defaced. I’ve had pictures stolen. I’ve had pictures spit on in one case. All kinds of things like that have happened because of the subject matter or what’s perceived to be subject matter that’s not appropriate for this or that reason. That doesn’t happen all the time, but when that happens it can be discouraging. It tells you you’re– You don’t want to be offensive, or I don’t want to be offensive. I want to do what I want to do. But if I’ve taken something and put it in the wrong place, that’s my fault or the curator’s fault. If it’s going to offend a certain group of people, then– It’s not the bad publicity of that, it’s just that’s not what art is supposed to do, as far as I’m concerned. You want to tweak people. You want to make them see something in a new light, but you don’t– You know, the censorship thing is a big issue.

It’s going to get worse and worse and worse.


HEINECKEN: Well, I think that the right wing is an important political force. You know, someone like Jesse Helms is a fool, but he gets things done, and he causes a lot of trouble. You know, coming down on Jock Sturges and what’s her name, Sally Mann, and numerous others, I mean, that stops your life for whatever period of time. When they come in and take stuff out of your studio without a warrant necessarily–and it’s legal to do that–I say that’s bad. And I don’t see anybody countering that politically. I mean, other people are neutral on it or something. But even liberal thinking, it seems to me, has come to a point where, “Well, we have obscenity laws. We have certain restrictions that are politically based on what can be seen.” Not what can be made, but what can be seen. The [Robert] Mapplethorpe thing was nuts, you know? It’s like Germany was before in the thirties. You smell things like these beginning to happen. The rounding up of all those so-called abstract paintings and making that exhibition which was to show the people “bad art.”

LEHMER: “Degenerate.”

HEINECKEN: Yeah, “degenerate art.”

LEHMER: Well, I’m interested here in something you said that I have never really thought about. It’s not only that you have an idea and that you articulate that idea, but now you also have alluded to the idea that you have to continue that responsibility to where and how you present the work. You want to tweak, but you don’t want–

HEINECKEN: No, tweak is not the right word. As soon as I said it I didn’t like it.

LEHMER: You don’t want to hurt someone; you want to engage someone- –


LEHMER: –on a cerebral level. But if you offend some- one, they’re going to shut you off. They’re going to slam the door on your face in a sense–

HEINECKEN: Well, it’s not so much what —

LEHMER: –and they’re not going to allow you into their
own head.

HEINECKEN: Well, that’s no problem. That’s up to the individual. But when it becomes a public nuisance and it begins to be in the paper and, in the case of Jock Sturges or Sally Mann, it actually stops your life for a period of time, that’s wrong. Maybe it’s interesting during this period of time where new art forms like performance and video are opening up avenues for sexuality and for expression of sexuality because it’s a person there doing a theatrical thing of some kind as opposed to a painting which you can turn to the wall or you can take down. But when you’ve got Karen Finley doing something in front of x number of people, and it’s offensive to someone who has not even seen it, that’s a real– I don’t want to get off into this; this is another whole tape. But I don’t see anything happening to prevent it.

LEHMER: Yeah. I guess what I find interesting about this is not necessarily the movement of anti-pornography or the attempt to broaden the definition of that, but that you did hint at it being what I would call a basic tenet of communication. That is, when you have an idea in your head, you select the words that you think your listener will understand. Depending upon who you’re talking to, you’re going to use different language or different terms or different means to get your point across. In a certain sense, you have different work, and then there is the responsibility of the artist and/or curator to understand the audience as much as possible.

HEINECKEN: Well, one never thinks — I don’t think of the audience. I think all of this comes later. I mean. Something is done, made, finished, whatever. Nobody is putting any restrictions on what you can do.

LEHMER: Right.

HEINECKEN: But that could be next. Anyway, my point is, then, in my case and in most artists’ cases you pass that responsibility on to the dealer, to the curator. In other words, I would never sell a piece directly to an individual unless I knew that individual, because then you’re the bandit, right? Whereas as soon as a gallery or a museum takes that work, it’s their problem, it’s not the artist’s problem. The artist might get hurt by it, but it’s their choice. They know what is legal, they know what is not. They know what their constituents are and what they want. I should expand on that at some point. The idea of the dealer is so important to me, not just for this reason but because I don’t want to take time trying to figure out what’s appropriate to do. I don’t want to take time looking at twenty pictures and saying, “Well, this is better than that.” It all goes to them. It’s their task to figure that out. If you don’t have a dealer, a good dealer, it can be hell. So I’m very lucky that way. I mean, to get an ongoing relationship with Pace[Wildenstein] gallery is much better than twenty- five one-man shows. That’s finally a situation–if I can stay with them– All those headaches are gone. You don’t have to see anybody, you don’t have to sell anything to anybody, you don’t have to go to dinner with anybody. That’s all their responsibility to do that. Of course, if they can’t do it well, then eventually you lose it, because there’s got to be money produced there for somebody. But that’s not my concern. The most important fact of the dealer is that it’s a veil for me between what I do and what the public sees. I don’t want that responsibility, so they’re the veil. I don’t want to meet the collectors, not because I don’t like people that buy my work; I don’t want to take the time to have yet another dinner with somebody who wants to say that they’ve had someone to dinner. That’s a waste of time. The gallery can take care of all that. They’re the go-between.

LEHMER: All right. That’s a good start. What I’d like to do for the remainder of this session is to expand some ideas we had last week about SPE.

HEINECKEN: Yeah. When you said that earlier, I wanted to say something more about LACPS [ Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies] too, which was the local version of SPE.

LEHMER: Okay. So we have previously talked about SPE on more of a social level, which is incredibly important. That’s where people come together. My experience is–as I’ve talked to you off tape, and I’ve just mentioned one brief thing- -I really went from a somewhat active community in San Francisco to a very much nonactive environment. Then, when I began to feel truly out of touch — In other words, when I did not understand the meaning of what I was reading, then I had to try to figure out how to get back in touch. First I was thinking of graduate school, but I had no idea what the graduate schools’ programs were like then. Unlike institutions that somehow sustain themselves, like Harvard [University], Yale [University] , and Princeton [University] , art programs will ebb and flow based on faculty and those kinds of things that make programs very vulnerable. So I turned to the Society for Photographic Education as a means of trying to figure out what was going on where at that time. It was like twenty years after I had actually first heard about SPE. Something that I found of value in that was that I could begin to get a handle on what programs were out there and what they were trying to accomplish. You were one of the initial people involved in SPE, and I think we had discussed earlier that it was pretty much started up by– Was it Nathan Lyons?


Lessons in Posing Subjects/Matching Facial Expressions, 1981

15 unique SX-70 Polaroid prints mounted in Rives BFK paper, letterpress title and text
15 x 20 inches
38.1 x 50.8 cm
Framed: 19 x 25 x 1.5 inches


  Lessons in Posing Subjects/Lingerie (Flowers), 1981

8 unique SX-70 Polaroid prints mounted in Rives BFK paper, letterpress title and text
15 x 20 inches

HEINECKEN: Well, yeah.

LEHMER: Henry Holmes Smith.

HEINECKEN: Yes. You know, it was a small group, but no one else in that small group would have initiated it, because they were all in universities or whatever, or not. But Nathan had the George Eastman House as a vehicle– I mean, their job is to collect photographs, right? He was a curator or whatever he was, so he had the venue for it, and he had the institutional support for it. I certainly wouldn’t have had that even if I’d had the idea, or Carl [Chiarenza] or someone like that. So he was very important as an individual but also because he had access to certain venues.

LEHMER: Carl Chiarenza?

HEINECKEN: Yeah. But I think your description of why you or what you found its value to be is in fact what it was developed to do. It was to be a kind of outreach–if that’s the right word–into various communities via traveling exhibitions, via having meetings all over the country so that people in any locale could get to a meeting. Then the regional meetings were- -I think I actually had something to do with that idea- -to decentralize it, so that West Coast, East Coast, Texas, whatever, would have their own annual meetings so that people from that locale, even if they couldn’t go to New York or some other major city, would have some sense that there was a body of people and a body of material that was accessible to them as teachers.

LEHMER: Now, there were some original ideas defining the role of the photographic educator. But the function of the institution itself–SPE, Society for Photographic Education or educators? — some people wanted it to be nothing more than a group of educators so that they could discuss on a peer level —

HEINECKEN: Right, exactly.

LEHMER: We discussed off tape some of the other avenues that people wanted to pursue. Can you describe some of those ideas as to the various objectives or directions in which SPE was being tugged or nudged?

HEINECKEN: Well, that’s interesting. I think the quick answer was to use the constituency of the organization as a democratic voice to determine what would seem to be — Let’s say, what would I need as an SPE member or a board member or whatever in my locale or institution that would help me be a better educator? That’s basically what the thing is about. However that evolves is certainly based on the strength of conviction of any of the individuals involved in it, which is very clear to me now. The conviction of the feminist movement, the gay movement, the political movement, those convictions are stronger and held by more people than any other convictions are at this point. It’s a young, active, a little bit angry group of people, and the progranuning reflects that, I think. And it should. People–not like me, necessarily- -who aren’t interested in that simply don’t have to go to it. Nobody is forcing you to go to this thing, right? But if you feel something is wrong with it and you have a different venue or a different agenda, then you have to speak for that. Maybe there are other people who feel that. I mean, it’s an organism, really, and it’s a good organism, I think, in that way. But it’s hard to do.

You know, I don’t think there was ever a plan. Maybe Nathan had a plan or something, but it was never revealed. It was always just something like, “Well, what do you think we ought to do?” You discuss it and you do it.

I don’t think there was ever a meeting that I had anything to do with or went to that wasn’t felt to be really, by a certain group of individuals– Old people were doing this, people who no longer mattered. Henry Holmes Smith they just vilified at one point, which was ugly.

The growth of the ideology about what would constitute the programming, which is all SPE is, really– It was just a program once a year that is supposed to illuminate what is on people’s minds and things. I’ve lost my train of thought there. So it’s an organism that’s reacting to social, political, and artistic changes .

LEHMER: So there was this group of educators that were pulled together by Nathan, and with–

HEINECKEN: Who were the only people- -maybe there were twelve, maybe more- -he could identify in the country that seemed to have an already developing interest in photography as an academic or an artistic subject and a viable art force. It’s not like we didn’t have– And I went into this the other day. There is a long history of individuals who were behaving as artists, but there was never, until 1960, something that could be seen as an educational force, because there wasn’t anything like that. There were no photography courses taught as art, basically, before all this started. So that was the role. That was and continues to be the idea of it. It’s just that the focus and the particularization of attitudes that people hold about the photographs they make is changing. It always has, and it will continue to do so.

The most interesting thing is the electronic stuff entering all of this suddenly, because now it’s not only the artistic and political choices that individuals make; now you’ve got this new media which is obviously capable of completely altering photography as we know it into something else. This is a big thing. It’s like when video came versus film.

LEHMER: It reminds me of the early seventies when we first started to see performance being done in the gallery.


LEHMER: It was not an artifact per se. It wasn’t something that you could go in, purchase, take home, and put on your wall. This is expanding the definition of what art is.

HEINECKEN: But see, I don’t think any university person, myself or anyone, would sit down and suddenly invent performance. “Hey, let’s start this!” I mean, individuals started this. When you see a certain number of individuals doing something which you recognize as important and interesting and it is obviously in an art vein, it takes universities ten years to figure it out before they accept it. They do that all the time. Universities have a slow process, as do organizations like SPE. It takes a while for them to make their first woman chair. It takes time to make the women’s caucus [of the College Art Association] .

What I’m getting at is this electronic thing. I joked — I forget what I said–that you could call it the “Society for Pornographic Electronics.” You wouldn’t have to change the stationery or anything. You would just stay with those letters but change the name of it, right? Or “Society for Photographic Electronics” or something like that, but “pornographic” is better. [laughs] There was a lot of sexual stuff going on at this last meeting, which was very interesting. I didn’t see all of it, but you could smell it.

LEHMER: Some terms that we had discussed when we last met in regards to SPE and the history of it, “educator” versus “education” —

HEINECKEN: Oh, right. Well, the idea there was simply that they want to change the name to “educator” because in their eyes it was– Again, they were slow to recognize it really wasn’t just about the educators, because the students are the clients, so to speak, of all of this. You can do it, but it’s wrong to, let’s say, construct a diagnosis for someone when you don’t know what their illness is or something like that.


Lessons in Posing Subjects/Lingerie (Erogenous Zones), 1981
8 unique SX-70 Polaroid prints mounted in Rives BFK paper, letterpress title and text
15 x 20 inches

 Lessons in Posing Subjects/Maintaining Facial Expressions (Female, Brunet), 1981

5 unique SX-70 Polaroid prints mounted in Rives BFK paper, letterpress title and text
15 x 20 inches

LEHMER: There were people who wanted to exclude the client, the student, so that they could talk more directly about —

HEINECKEN: What to teach, how to teach, the profession of teaching —

LEHMER: Then there were others who–

HEINECKEN: –in this medium which was like a new device in the art idea.

LEHMER: There was a need for people to say, “Well, what the hell do we do? We’re in this responsible position–”

HEINECKEN: Well, you’ve hit it exactly. That’s exactly how a lot of those people felt. I think they–not to name anyone — just felt incompetent about dealing with the students per se on a day-to-day basis because of their and my inadequacy to deal with everything like that. So the organization was supposed to be set up to answer some questions, to help people prepare how to proceed with teaching. Of course, the view was that the students were a nuisance in that. I didn’t feel that way.

LEHMER: Well, what did you feel the role of the student client was in SPE? You ‘ re hinting that you were in support of their involvement.

HEINECKEN: And their input, yeah.

LEHMER: Because of the fact that you couldn’t–

HEINECKEN: But I don’t think that that problem is ever solved. It’s simply that the group of students who were unruly are now full professors in institutions. All of them or most of them are, because those jobs were available for those people. I don’t think the nineties is producing students that are nearly as anxiety-ridden about what is going on around them as they were and probably never will again. It’s a docile– But it is the young faculty people who are making the noise, understandably, and wanting a change. I remember– I think I was chairman at the time that this happened, or at least I was on the board. I immediately had to point out to them that the financial base of the organization was not in the membership but was in the local people- You go to Chicago and you’ve got five thousand students there, all of whom can pay ten dollars or whatever. The only way you can finance this is to allow them to be participants and not restrict them from being active participants, not just an audience for it.

LEHMER: The makeup of SPE was predominantly artists and a curriculum of fine arts. There were other associations–

HEINECKEN: Not necessarily just that. I mean, there was always the technical thing going on. There was always the–which I objected to a lot–interference by the product people, like [Eastman] Kodak [Company] and whatever, because I just didn’t think that that money was clean necessarily. But that’s aside from the point.

Well, I remember when the CAA [College Art Association] was the only thing I’d ever been to, and this is pretty closely modeled on that kind of– These things are not without their political forces and their factions. All of these things are very important to it. So what I’m saying is that it wasn’t solely the idea of how to make this into art or how to teach it as art, because there were always other considerations–losing, let’s say, the spirit for  documentation through photography or making everything kind of a formal art idea as opposed to someone like [Garry] Winogrand or whomever. I mean, some of those issues were always and still are present.

LEHMER: But that’s different than teaching commercial photography, which would be like a seminar at SPE. I don’t see a seminar at SPE where you —

HEINECKEN: No, but there were such things, but slowly or over whatever period of time people simply weren’t going to those things. If we set up something that somebody wants to talk about, like commercial photography, and no one shows up- -two people or something– You get the picture. I mean, it’s changing. It shifts all the time.


Porno Film Strip #2, 1972

Transparent lithographic film
57 x 17 1/4 inches

LEHMER: So then the base–

HEINECKEN: And those people who were, let’s say, in commercial or applied photography came to understand that they wanted to train people to go into the industry and make a living at it. Well, that’s fine. You’ve got this other group of people who are really thinking of the art idea, which brings up the problems that any artist has. How to make a living is always a problem. So it was like saying to them, “Look, you people are in a profession.

You have RIT [Rochester Institute of Technology], you have all of these places which are teaching it. These guys are going to work right away; they’re making a good living. Why are you interested in SPE? We’re not going to be talking about these things. We’re trying to talk about support systems for people who are preparing themselves to be some kind of artist or something other than a commercial photographer.” I keep using the word “artist” because that’s my take on it, but obviously a lot of people didn’t think of certain kinds of photographs as art and still don’t. There has to be something that makes it art, but I don’t know what that is yet.

LEHMER: Correct me on this. I’m going to use some words to describe the evolutionary history of SPE. It starts with educators, then broadens to students, to historians, curators, critics, administrators, dealers–

HEINECKEN: Yes, but not the dealers so much.

LEHMER: Then it began to develop more specialized areas, such as the women’s movement, the women’s caucus —

HEINECKEN: But interestingly, that’s developed within the structure of SPE. It’s a vital part of the– It is a by- law caucus as opposed to–as I mentioned the other day — the curators. While they go to SPE, they really have their own organization. In some ways it’s like the first SPE meetings, where they limited the number of people that could attend, for which we had a motive in the beginning, which changed later. So they recognized, because of what happened to SPE in terms of the burgeoning growth of it out of hand, what the real issues for them were. They set up their own thing where they could discuss that. They can participate in SPE if they wish, but I think they have maybe forty or fifty people, which you can handle. This curator’s group is called Oracle, a very highblown title. Then you mentioned administrators–! think they have about twenty people. They have an organization that meets annually. Photographic Administrators.

LEHMER: Who would fall into that category?

HEINECKEN: Paul Berger is one of them. I’ve got this information.

LEHMER: Now, he’s an educator, like a department chair?

HEINECKEN: He’s chairman of the art department [at the University of Washington], so it’s not just photography.

LEHMER: Would the director of the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art, for instance, also fall into the administrator’s organization?

HEINECKEN: No, these are all teachers or administrators and educators, as far as I know.

LEHMER: In educational groups, okay.

We’re almost out of tape, but what we want to pick up with next time would be LACPS. I think I want to get on the end of the tape what we’re going to continue with, because it will make it easier for me to start out with  questions next time.

LACPS is the Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies and in a sense It is a spinoff of SPE. It is now the baton in the relay race which connects educators and artists with the community. It’s a noncommercial gallery.


LEHMER: I’m sorry, you were going to say something?

HEINECKEN: Only to remind myself to talk about some of the early galleries in Los Angeles like Ohio Silver [Gallery] and Angel Eye [Gallery] and Camerawork [Gallery] and things like that, which were the local outlets for some of this.

LEHMER: Well, we’ll talk about their objectives and why they were created. There was an unfulfilled need that we should define in Los Angeles. We also should talk about the climate of Southern California, in which I feel you were a very instrumental key player.

HEINECKEN: Well, I’ll just mention it so we can think about it. There were no museum collections here like there would have been in Chicago or San Francisco. There still aren’t.



(All rights reserved. Copyright © 1998, The Regents of the University of California, Images courtesy of Petzel Gallery)

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