Now more than ever, Robert Mapplethorpe is regarded as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Presented here is a selection of his still lifes, flowers, nudes and portraits—some 90 works from the private collection of internationally renowned architect Peter Marino. This is the most comprehensive survey of his multi-genre oeuvre to be shown in Japan since 2002.

Marino has designed the exhibition to highlight the dualities of Mapplethorpe’s complex portfolio, with subjects grouped in increasingly radical progression through the gallery space. Starting from the classicism of physical constructs, tableaux and sculptures, viewers encounter more challenging, often controversial imagery edging toward themes of natural grace and physical beauty, bondage and destruction.

The sardonic exhibition title MEMENTO MORI serves to remind us both of the ephemerality of photographic subjects and of the artist’s own untimely death. Mapplethorpe’s works exerted great aesthetic, social and political influence, virtually defining the times and striking a marked contrast to the timeless heritage status his masterpieces have since attained.

This traveling exhibition was first shown at CHANEL NEXUS HALL in Tokyo 14 March–9 April 2017.

This exhibition contains nudity and sexual content. May not be suitable for all audiences, viewer discretion is advised. Entry restricted 18+

Robert Mapplethorpe
Born in 1946 in suburban Long Island, New York, Robert Mapplethorpe earned a BFA at Pratt Institute and began working intensively in photography from the mid-1970s. Initially known for his distinctive experiments in portraiture, in the 1980s he began concentrating on more formal portraits, floral still lifes and other rigorous compositions. In 1988, his controversial solo show The Perfect Moment generated highly politicized debate about the definition and public support of “Art.” Mapplethorpe died of AIDS-related illness in 1989 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Tulip, 1984 © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Tulip, 1984 © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Kondaya Genbei Chikuin-no-Ma

Kondaya, Nishigawa, Sanjo-sagaru, Muromachi-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-8165
Subway Tozai Line or Karasuma Line ”Karasuma Oike” station 4 min on foot from exit 6

CLOSED:Wednesday(except 5/3)

Entrance fee:Free

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© 2017 Naoyuki Ogino

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