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Major Mapplethorpe retrospective hosted by NRW-Forum, DüsseldorfLatest News ->

Sat 10 July, 2010.

Further evidence that SDk is not obsessed with Robert Mapplethorpe but that the point we are making – that his work was, and still is, enormously significant both artistically and sociopolitically – is valid and relevant today, is the fact that galleries and museums internationally are still featuring significant showings of his work. This was the case with the Robert Mapplethorpe: A Season in Hell exhibition hosted at the Alison Jacques Gallery in London late last year (see our Latest News entry dated 30 June), and it is currently the case with the major retrospective at the NRW-Forum in Düsseldorf.

Entitled simply as Robert Mapplethorpe, the NRW-Forum exhibition, which runs to 15 August 2010, presents more than one hundred and fifty photographs representing, “all areas of Mapplethorpe’s work, from portraits and self-portraits, homosexuality, nudes, flowers and the quintessence of his oeuvre the photographic images of sculptures, including early Polaroids. The photographs are arranged according to themes such as ‘self portraits’, which includes the infamous shot of him with a bullwhip inserted in his anus, as well as his almost poetic portraits of his muse, Patti Smith, the photographs of black men versus white women, the body builder Lisa Lyon, the juxtaposition of penises and flowers... and finally those images of classical beauty based on renaissance sculptures, and impressive portraits of children and celebrities of the day”.

Visit the NRW-Forum’s website for full details of the Robert Mapplethorpe retrospective, a brief background on the artist’s place in history, and a video trailer from the Ralph Goertz film Robert Mapplethorpe: Shapes featuring interviews with some of his most famous models, notably Lisa Lyon and Ken Moody.

A progressive gallery (SDk visited a Vivienne Westwood exhibition there in 2006), the NRW-Forum will provide visitors, via their mobile phones, with “a virtual space where the interpretation of Robert Mapplethorpe’s work can develop and unfold”; options are provided to view its website in a number of languages, including English.

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