Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) is undoubtedly one of the most important photographers of the twentieth century. He was inspired by the sculpture of classical antiquity and the Renaissance, and translated this aesthetic to a time and culture of his own, namely New York’s gay scene in the 1980s. The resulting images portray the beautifully lit unadorned bodies of muscular men. Moreover, Mapplethorpe depicted female nudes, various flowers, in addition to portraits of his friends and acquaintances such as Patti Smith, Louise Bourgeois, and Robert Rauschenberg. Fotografiska is proud to present a retrospective of nearly 200 of these stunning prints, many which have never been exhibited in Sweden before.
Robert Mapplethorpe, born on November 4, 1946, in Floral Park, Queens, New York, died on March 9, 1989, in Boston, Massachussetts, was a legendary American photographer. Robert Mapplethorpe started studying drawing, painting and sculpture at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, in 1963. He acquired a Polaroid camera in 1970 and began producing his own photographs to incorporate into the collages he was making at the time. That same year he moves into the mythical Chelsea Hotel, living side by side with many great musicians and artists of our time, such as Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol and Janis Joplin.
In the mid 1970s Mapplethorpe obtains a medium-format camera manufactured by the Swedish brand Hasselblad and starts photographing his circle of friends and acquaintances—artists, musicians and socialites. In the 1980s he hones his aestethics and starts shooting naked men and women, inspired by statues from classical antiquity and the Renaissance.
Today, Robert Mapplethorpe is seen as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century.
About The Mapplethorpe Foundation:
Robert Mapplethorpe established the not-for-profit Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation on May 27, 1988, some ten months before his death, to protect his work, to advance his creative vision and to promote the causes he cared about. Serving as the first president on a five-person board of trustees, he established an initial mandate of furthering the recognition of photography as an art form of the same importance as painting and sculpture. During the last weeks of his life, he added the second mandate of supporting medical research in the area of AIDS and HIV infection.
Until October 2, 2011
Stora Tullhuset Stadsgårdshamnen 22
116 45 Stockholm