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Robert Mapplethorpe

Mai 36 Galerie is delighted to present the fifth solo exhibition of works by American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

Mapplethorpe’s classically inspired image of the human body was often adopted by commercial photography. He looked to the iconography of Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance, and developed his own distinctive photographic style of radically pared-down composition. Even the early polaroids he created after his Fine Art studies at the Pratt Institute foreshadow his later motifs – albeit in color and more directly. With the shift to classic black-and-white photography, Mapplethorpe refined his technique and compositional style, going into more detail, cropping more closely, and creating aesthetically staged images in black-and-white.

The exhibition at Mai 36 Galerie shows works from 1976 to 1988 and includes the themes of male / female / SM / flowers / still life. The selection shows Robert Mapplethorpe as an artist firmly anchored in his time, yet whose works remain topical to this day. His photographs challenge us, while at the same time presenting images of classical beauty. Mai 36 Galerie has been representing the work of Robert Mapplethorpe since 1988.

Currently, the Museo Madre in Naples is showing Robert Mapplethorpe – Coreografia per una mostra and from January 2019 the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York is hosting a major retrospective of his work. A full-length feature film about Mapplethorpe’s life and work, addressing the parallels between his art and his sexuality, is due for release later in the year. 

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