denver

Heimrad Bäcker, Remnants of Foundations in the Wiener Graben Quarry in Mauthausen, n.d., gelatin silver print, 3 1/2 x 10 1/2".

Heimrad Bäcker

Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver (MCA DENVER)

Heimrad Bäcker, Remnants of Foundations in the Wiener Graben Quarry in Mauthausen, n.d., gelatin silver print, 3 1/2 x 10 1/2".

Visitors walking into the MCA Denver’s Heimrad Bäcker exhibition might mistake it for a group show. With black-and-white photographs, floor-based sculptures, an austere group of prints, and fourteen issues of the journal neue texte, the various components do not immediately suggest the output of a single artist. Little known outside German-speaking countries, Bäcker (1925–2003) produced this complex body of work in two distinct historical phases: first, during World War II as a committed member of the Hitler Youth and the Nazi Party, then after 1968 as a photographer, writer, and editor working within the postwar Austrian neo-avant-garde and personally engaging in a long-term reflection on his own past actions. Organized by Patrick Greaney, this is the first exhibition of the material left behind at Bäcker’s death and marks the first time his work has appeared in the United States.

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