Tremblant Vielfache

These photographs, made during a trip to Mount Tremblant, Canada, on a single roll of Tri-X 400 black-and-white 35mm film, function as a photographic precursor and companion-piece to ‘Die Neue Grafik,’ which subordinates studio-based images to the same visual regimentation. The pared-down images evoke the work of minimalist photographers like Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan, to whose work Heck was particularly drawn as a young photographer; working with very little in the way of subject matter, these artists emphasized graphic elements like tone and composition to make photographs that transcended their subjects.

Whether in spare, anonymous arrangements like those of ‘Tremblant Vielfache’ and ‘Die Neue Grafik’—both of which incorporate similarly limited ranges of visual elements—or in his more outwardly ornate compositions, Heck takes the same controlled, graphic approach to his work, using photography as a means of making rather than recording reality. Here, reduced to black, white and gray tones, the skiing figures float in white space like marks on paper, their swaddled bodies and masked faces further contributing to the images’ personless abstraction.