Robert Mapplethorpe: A Survey

Jan 15 - Feb 28, 2015

Compiled and edited by Theodor Dalenson and Richard Edwards.

Robert Mapplethorpe is one of the most important American photographers of the latter half of the 20th century. He is widely known for his controversial and often explicit images that pushed the boundaries of photography in both subject matter and technique. In 1988, Mapplethorpe’s major retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, which included sexually explicit images depicting homoerotic and sadomasochistic subjects, sparked a fierce on-going public debate in America about censorship, the public funding for the arts and the definition of art itself. 

However, the artist’s extensive oeuvre also includes formal portraits, classical nudes and traditional subjects such as flowers (mostly Orchids and Calla Lilies), photographed in the distinctive manner, which constitutes the immediately recognizable style of Robert Mapplethorpe. The artist was born in Floral Park, Queens, USA in 1946 and died of AIDS in 1989 in Boston, at the age of 42. 

The exhibition at Christian Larsen consists of a broad overview of works covering Robert Mapplethorpe`s entire career span. The exhibition includes black and white portraits, flowers and still lifes ranging from 1978 to 1987. Among the works are some of the most iconic images such as the portraits of Andy Warhol, Patti Smith and Lisa Lyon, as well as various flowers and other still life photographs. All the works in the exhibition originate from the Robert Mapplethorpe Estate.