Lot Details

Paper size: Paper: 50.0 X 40.3 cm (19 3/4 X 15 7/8 in)

This austere portrait shows only the model's bowed shoulders and head, his face suggestively hidden from view accentuating the emotional content of this sensitive image.

Robert Mapplethorpe (1946 –1989) was an American photographer, known for his large-scale, highly stylized black and white portraits, photos of flowers, and naked men. The frank, homosexual eroticism of some of the work of his middle period triggered a more general controversy about the public funding of artworks. Born and raised in New York, Mapplethorpe studied graphic arts at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, where he earned his BFA in 1970 while also working as a photographer for Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine. In his own work, Mapplethorpe began with intimate self-portraits and portraits of his friends, which included artists such as Patti Smith and members of the SM-scene in New York. Focusing on themes of beauty, sex, and intimacy, Mapplethorpe created sensual nude portraits and flower still lives, which dominated his oeuvre from the 1980s. Diagnosed with AIDS in 1986, Mapplethorpe established the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to support and promote photography and fight again AIDS and HIV, in 1988, the same year as his first major retrospective at The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Mapplethorpe passed away in 1989 from AIDS-related complications.

Selected Public Collections:
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
National Portrait Gallery, London, England
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tate Modern, London, England

Read more
Publication: Arthur C. Danto, "Playing with the Edge" in Mapplethorpe (New York: Random House, 1992), p. 96. Prepared in collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Robert Mapplethorpe, The Black Book (Munich: Schirmer/Mosel, 1986), p. 1. Robert Mapplethorpe, Perfection in Form (New York: teNeues, 2009), p. 158. Robert Mapplethorpe, Ausstellung im Kunstverein München 19.3. bis 9.5.1982 (Munich: Kunstverein München, 1981), p. 7.
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  • Gift from the artist Private Collection, Belgium
  • Pickup Location: Belgium
  • Shipping Dimensions: 13.58 x 13.7 in. (34.49 x 34.8 cm.)
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