Monday, March 18, 2013

Photography Exhibition: The Getty Museum - In Focus: Robert Mapplethorpe

Calla Lily, Robert Mapplethorpe, 1988; print 1990The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, regularly has extraordinary photographic exhibitions. In Focus: Robert Mapplethorpe is no exception.

This exhibition will run through March 24, 2013

“A tastemaker and provocateur, Robert Mapplethorpe was one of the great photographers of the second half of the twentieth century. His highly stylized explorations of gender, race, and sexuality became hallmarks of the period and exerted a powerful influence on his contemporaries.

Mapplethorpe refined his style in the early 1980s, creating images of timeless elegance. After his erotic nudes, his delicate floral still lifes encouraged sexual interpretations. Although floral still lifes have traditionally held these connotations, Mapplethorpe transformed them from a subject that sophisticated collectors were reluctant to display in their homes into an important contemporary theme.

Arranged with his characteristic sense of balance and meticulously lit, this image of a calla lily appears to glow from within. Although preternaturally still, the composition exudes a sense of latent excitement, with the milky white flower almost vibrating against the rich, black background.”

It turns out, personally, I'm not a major fan of Mapplethorpe's nudes, especially the ones he created toward at end of his life, but I find his work with floral still lifes absolutely compelling. In this exhibition, which I visited two weeks ago, there is an image of parrot tulips which is one of the greatest photographic floral still lifes I've ever seen.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area this week, before this exhibition closes, I strongly suggest you take in this terrific exhibition.

As I travel, I love seeing the work of other photographers as I hope you do. If you know of a new photographic exhibition which you think the Blog should publicize, please contact me.


Sue - LA said...

I was just at the exhibition Ned. You're right, some of the photos of still lifes and other subjects were amazing. The exhibit isn't huge, but it's great.

Tim - Dallas said...

I'll be in LA on Thursday through Sunday. I was going to skip the Getty, but now I'll make sure I get there. Thanks.

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