“Robert Mapplethorpe”

Data: Robert Mapplethorpe, a stabilising market

The market of this “sculptor-painter”, whose auction prices are still affordable, is currently stabilising, even if great disparities exist. A market that still tends to be dominated by the United States… Robert Mapplethorpe was born on 4 November 1946 in New York State, into an English-Irish Catholic family. He was the third of six children. He spent his childhood in Floral Park, Queens (New York) where he attended Our Lady of the Snows. “I was a Catholic boy, I went to church every Sunday. A church has a certain magic and mystery for a child. It still shows in how I arrange things” (Deborah A. Levinson, Robert Mapplethorpe’s Extraordinary Vision). In 1963, Robert Mapplethorpe enrolled in Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. First — and primarily to please his father — he studied graphic arts. Bad choice. He dropped out two years later and it was then that he turned his attention the visual arts — drawing, painting, sculpture. He began making surrealist collages, in tandem with his discovery of cannabis and LSD. He met Patti Smith, and they became friends — following a short tryst. At this time, Robert Mapplethorpe was largely marked by Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Cornell: he continued to practise collage, but also made boxes, installations and altar pieces, influenced by his Catholic childhood but also by black magic. At the end of the 1960s, Robert Mapplethorpe became fascinated by the New York avant-garde. He namely frequented the clubs near Union Square, such as Max’s Kansas City or CBGB, where Factory members tended to congregate: Andy Warhol himself, but also Gerard Malanga and Candy Darling. According to Patti Smith, it was only at the start of the 1970s that Robert Mapplethorpe started photography. His interest in the medium is inseparable from his visits to the Metropolitan Museum (New York), when John...

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Mini-series adaptation of Patti Smith’s autobiography

Showtime and Patti Smith have announced that the singer’s autobiography is to be adapted into a mini-series. Patti Smith’s Just Kids was released in 2010 to widespread acclaim. Patti Smith will produce and co-write the mini-series along with John Logan, the creator of Penny Dreadful.  The singer is very happy to see her work adapted because it will allow each character to be examined more deeply and to offer a more revealing insight into the era. When the book was released, Smith observed, “I think it’s important for people to realise that we were all young, all naive, and also we had lived in a time that had magic.” Just Kids will cover Patti Smith’s life at the beginning of her career and her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and the beginnings of his career. It will also portray life in the 1960s and 1970s. At the time both frequented famous artistic establishments and the novel describes places such as Andy Warhol’s Factory and the Chelsea Hotel and artists such as Janis Joplin and Jimi...

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Kiasma reopens with Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition

Helsinki’s Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma has reopened its doors with a solo exhibition by Robert Mapplethorpe, one of the most prominent photographers of the 20th century, which is to run until 13 September 2015. The retrospective marks the most comprehensive and broad presentation of the artist’s work and career ever to have appeared in Finland. Consisting of more than 250 works, the retrospective offers a broad overview of the key periods of Mapplethorpe’s career, from early Polaroids to the 1980s portraits. Thematically, the show ranges from sculptural nudes to portraits and self-portraits, from still lifes to erotic subjects. In their aspiration for perfection, Mapplethorpe’s pictures blend beauty and eroticism with pain, pleasure, and death. Although solidly anchored in their time, his photographs are also universal and topical even today. Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989) is an American photographer and prominent figure in the New York underground and art scenes of the 1970s and ’80s. The Kiasma exhibition was curated by Jérôme Neutres from the Grand Palais, Paris, with Director Pirkko Siitari and Chief Curator Marja Sakari from Kiasma. The museum will also open two exhibitions from the Collections: “Face to Face – Portrait Now”, until 7 February 2016, and “Elements”, until 9 August...

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“Mapplethorpe: Polaroids and Photographs” at the Charles Riva Collection

“Mapplethorpe: Polaroids and Photographs”, to be held from 10 September until the 28 February at the Charles Riva Collection in Brussels, will display a range of the artist’s photographs and Polaroids. The exhibition will feature some of Mapplethorpe’s photographs of famous individuals, such as the singer Patti Smith, (including the photograph which famously featured as the cover of her first album); as well as the bodybuilder Lisa Lyon, whom he met in 1980, which were used in Italian Vogue. Polaroids — the dominant medium of his first solo show in 1973 — such as Manfred (1974) display Mapplethorpe’s interest in sculpture, with the male model posing in classical surroundings. As well as displaying intimate photos of his models, a more personal side to his photography is shown in the exhibition in works such as Pictures/Self Portrait (1997). His first major American retrospective was displayed in 1988, a year before his death....

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Robert Mapplethorpe at two Parisian exhibitions

Paris, 12 March 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA). Paris’s Grand Palais and Musée Rodin have announced two forthcoming exhibitions consecrated to Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989). The exhibitions are to take place from 26 March to 13 July at the Grand Palais and from 8 April until 21 September at the Musée Rodin. Both exhibitions are to exhibit Mapplethorpe’s works in an attempt to bring his stylised black-and-white photographs — notably his portraits, still lifes and nudes — to the fore of the Parisian art scene. 200 works taken between 1970 and 1989, the year of the artist’s death, are to be on display at Grand Palais. Alternatively, the Musée Rodin’s exhibition seeks to create more of a dialogue between two different artists and forms of expression, presenting 50 of Rodin’s sculptures alongside 102 of Mapplethorpe’s...

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