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Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe
Robert Mapplethorpe
the sensitive lens
Photo credit by Gallerie Nazionali Barberini Corsini
Robert Mapplethorpe
Robert Mapplethorpe | the sensitive lens


The National Galleries of Ancient Art present the exhibition Robert Mapplethorpe from 15 March to 30 June 2019, at the Galleria Corsini in Rome. The sensitive objective, edited by Flaminia Gennari Santori. The exhibition continues the dialogue and interweaving of past and present that began with the exhibition of Picasso's Parade in 2017 and the Eco and Narciso exhibition in 2018, a distinctive feature of the strategy outlined by the museum's management.

The exhibition focuses on some themes that distinguish the work of Robert Mapplethorpe (1946 - 1989), a well-known, revolutionary and controversial master of the second half of the twentieth century: the study of still lifes, landscapes, classical statuary and Renaissance composition. You will be able to admire 45 shots in black and white, from the Mapplethorpe Foundation of New York, of the photographer known for having immortalized Andy Warhol, Patti Smith and many other celebrities.

The choice of the curator to do an exhibition on Robert Mapplethorpe is inspired by the collector's practice of the artist, avid collector of historical photographs, a passion he shared with companion Sam Wagstaff, whose collection constitutes an extraordinary fund of the photography department of the Getty Museum.

The selection of the works and their location in the Gallery respond to different intentions: to highlight aspects of Mapplethorpe's work that resonate particularly with the museum, understood as a space - physical and conceptual - of collecting, to trigger a new relationship between the visitors, the works and the environments of the Gallery.

2019 is the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Robert Mapplethorpe and this initiative, organized in collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation of New York, is part of a series of exhibitions dedicated to the artist, including a large retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York and, in Italy, the one at the Museo Madre in Naples which focuses in an unprecedented way on the intimate performative matrix of the artist's photographic practice.

The director of the National Galleries Barberini Corsini and curator of the exhibition, Flaminia Gennari Santoni, says: "We know that Mapplethorpe has never been here at the Galleria Corsini, but he was an avid collector, we have photos of his apartment that he made in 1988 which is set up somehow like a picture gallery. Being so obsessed with symmetry and eurythmy, I believe he would have appreciated this place. "

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