20 Nov 2015
The Bowes Museum is pleased to present the work of renowned American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The works in the exhibition are drawn from the collection of ARTIST ROOMS, owned by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland, which holds one of the most significant collections of Mapplethorpe’s photographs in the world.
Mapplethorpe (1946–89) is known for a vast, provocative and powerful body of work which has established him as one of the most important artists of the late twentieth century. His exquisitely composed black and white photographs are remarkable as much for their technical virtuosity as for their sometimes controversial subject matter. His work has often been described as a unique combination of beauty and salaciousness.
Portraiture was central to his creative output, and Mapplethorpe established his reputation in the 1970s and 80s with photographs of his circle of friends and contemporaries from the New York cultural scene– artists, musicians, socialites, and members of the New York underground. The exhibition, which opens at The Bowes Museum on 28 November 2015, will concentrate on the concepts of musicians, artists and classical poses and feature a selection of portraits of these influential figures, including Iggy Pop, Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as Mapplethorpe’s close companion, singer and poet, Patti Smith.