September 17, 2018 - Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art - Robert Mapplethorpe: Pictures
September 17, 2018

Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art

Robert Mapplethorpe, Self Portrait, 1983. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

Robert Mapplethorpe
Pictures
September 21, 2018–January 6, 2019

Opening: September 20, 10pm

Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art
Rua D. João de Castro, 210
4150–417 Porto
Portugal
Hours: Monday–Sunday 10am–7pm,
Saturday–Sunday 10am–8pm

T +351 22 615 6500
serralves@serralves.pt

www.serralves.pt
Facebook / Instagram / YouTube

Robert Mapplethorpe
Pictures
September 21, 2018–January 6, 2019

Opening: September 20, 10pm

Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art
Rua D. João de Castro, 210
4150–417 Porto
Portugal
Hours: Monday–Sunday 10am–7pm,
Saturday–Sunday 10am–8pm

T +351 22 615 6500
serralves@serralves.pt

www.serralves.pt
Facebook / Instagram / YouTube

Robert Mapplethorpe (New York, 1946–1989, Boston) created some of the most arresting, polemical, and iconic images in contemporary photography. Robert Mapplethorpe: Pictures, organized in close collaboration with the Mapplethorpe Foundation, brings together 179 works from throughout the artist’s career, from early collages and Polaroids, to the photographs of flowers, nudes, sexuality and portraits that made him one of the most notable photographers of the last century.

Having studied painting and sculpture in New York before turning to the medium of photography, Mapplethorpe was influenced by the art of Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp, as well as the 19th century photography of Julia Margaret Cameron and others, of which he was to become an avid collector. Mapplethorpe´s early collages, assemblages and photographs, most taken with a Polaroid camera, develop the interest in sexuality and composition—right angles, geometric shapes of light—that would come to define his mature work. Using a fully-manual Hasselblad camera from 1975 onward—the viewfinder framing the world in its square format—Mapplethorpe began to employ long exposures and ordered arrangements in the studio to craft portraits, still lives, and male nudes whose order, balance, and content redefined photography as an art form.

Mapplethorpe treated these subjects with equal attention and precision, from cut flowers and male sex organs, to the cast of friends, lovers, celebrities, and collaborators he depicted, turning a photograph into the controlled performance between artist and subject. Both controversial and classicist, Mapplethorpe´s pioneering engagement with gender, sexuality and race is reflected in photographs of queer and non-heteronormative bodies, pleasure and desire, suspended in the tension, as with all of his work, between the emotive and political intensity of their content and the clarity of their composition.

Robert Mapplethorpe: Pictures is organized by the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, and curated by João Ribas, Director. All artworks in the exhibition are on loan from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York.

Accompanying the exhibition Serralves publishes a fully illustrated book featuring a comprehensive overview of Robert Mapplethorpe’s work by art historian Jonathan K. Nelson; as well as texts and interviews by Susan Sontag, Edith Cottrell and Gary Indiana.

A programme of tours and talks accompanies Robert Mapplethorpe: Pictures. A tour of the exhibition with Michael Ward Stout, president of the board of directors of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation and João Ribas will take place on September 22. 

For further information and image requests, please contact apoio.imprensa [​at​] serralves.pt.  

About Serralves
The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art is the foremost museum for contemporary art in Portugal, and one of Europe’s most renowned institutions for contemporary art and culture. Uniquely sited on the grounds of the Serralves Foundation in Porto―which also comprises an 18-hectare Park and the Serralves Villa, a landmark art deco building―the Museum designed by Álvaro Siza opened in 1999. Through its exhibitions, collection, publications, performing arts, and public programmes, Serralves fosters the understanding and appreciation of contemporary art and culture in Portugal and around the world.

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