MUSEUM STUDIES:

THE ARTWORK OF RICHARD HEIPP

 

SYNTHETIC COLLAGE SERIES (1984-1988)

This body of work was inspired by research Heipp conducted for various public art projects. In tandem with his personal studio art practice, he created over twenty commissioned, site-specific art in public places from 1978-2014. Heipp was “interested in methods of representation and the wide variety of languages that existed within the lexicon of visual communication.” Heipp explains that he “unearthed a myriad of systems, forms, and image dialects that when layered became recombined or recontextualized” thus, their original intended meaning was significantly altered.  In Heipp’s previous work, he created paintings from photographic sources that attempted to serve as a surrogate for “real” space. Heipp “employed a strategy in which the front of the picture plane, similar to the reflective glass of a framed picture, simultaneously represented the concept of the real world known as the renaissance window and the flatness of the modernist wall.” In this body of synthetic collages, Heipp endeavored to make paintings that were constructed of discreetly shaped objects which concurrently represented real and illusionistic space. Heipp created a model of a fabricated, synthetic, trompe l'oeil, illusionistic space. In other words, he “constructed a deceptive space that served as a surrogate for the real.” This collage methodology, wherein Heipp combined a set of seemingly disparate image pieces, began to suggest a narrative. He aimed to “create a relationship using visual rhyme simile, alliteration, and metaphor. The reading of image components became analogous to words forming a sentence or phrases striving to become a visual equivalent to concrete poetry.”