The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, May 27, 2018

LACMA presents The X, Y, and Z portfolios by American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe
Robert Mapplethorpe, X Portfolio, 1978. Black Silk Clamshell Case. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Partial Gift of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds by the David Geffen Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Trust, © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents three portfolios created by American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989). The exhibition, Robert Mapplethorpe: XYZ, features a total of thirty-nine black-and-white photographs, exploring three subject matters: homosexual sadomasochistic imagery (X, published in 1978); flower still lifes (Y, 1978); and nude portraits of African American men (Z, 1981). LACMA’s presentation will showcase the works in three rows—X above, Y in the middle, and Z along the bottom—an idea which was suggested by Mapplethorpe in 1989.

“Robert Mapplethorpe is among the most important photographic artists of the twentieth century,” comments Britt Salvesen, Department Head and Curator of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department at LACMA. “The X, Y, and Z portfolios not only defined the artist’s career, but also played a role in an important moment of American cultural politics that is still pertinent to us today.”

This is the first presentation of Mapplethorpe’s work since last year’s widely publicized joint acquisition by LACMA, The J. Paul Getty Museum, and The Getty Research Institute of Mapplethorpe’s art and archives—including over 1,900 editioned prints and over 1,000 non-editioned prints, 200 unique mixed-media objects, over 160 Polaroids, 120,000 negatives, and extensive working materials, ephemera, and documents. The majority of the acquisition originated as a generous gift from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, and the remainder of the funds provided by the David Geffen Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Trust.

Concurrent with the LACMA exhibition, The J. Paul Getty Museum presents In Focus: Robert Mapplethorpe, on view October 23, 2012-March 24, 2013. This single-gallery exhibition reviews the artist’s work from the early 1970s to the late 1980s, and features editioned prints, rarely seen mixed-media objects, and Polaroids that depict a wide range of subject matter including self-portraits, nudes, and still lifes. A larger Mapplethorpe retrospective, jointly organized by LACMA and the Getty, is planned for 2016.

Born in 1946, Robert Mapplethorpe grew up in the suburban area of Floral Park, Queens. As a student at the Pratt Institute in New York, he studied drawing, painting, and sculpture and experimented with various materials in mixed-media collages. When Mapplethorpe acquired a Polaroid camera in 1970, he began incorporating his own photos into his constructions. His first solo gallery exhibition, Polaroids, took place at Light Gallery in New York City in 1973.

Two years later he transitioned from the Polaroid to a Hasselblad mediumformat camera and began shooting his circle of friends and acquaintances. His subjects—artists, musicians, socialites, pornographic film stars, and members of the S & M underground—came from a variety of backgrounds. Mapplethorpe’s interest in documenting the New York S&M scene was strongest in the late 1970s, when he produced photographs with shocking content but remarkable technique and formal mastery. In 1978, the Robert Miller Gallery in New York City became his exclusive dealer. Throughout the 1980s, Mapplethorpe produced images that challenged and adhered to classical aesthetic standards including stylized compositions of male and female nudes, delicate flower still lifes, and studio portraits of artists and celebrities. He explored and refined different techniques and formats— including color 20” x 24” Polaroids, photogravures, platinum prints on paper and linen, Cibachrome and dye transfer color processes—but gelatin silver printing remained his primary medium.

In 1986, Robert Mapplethorpe was diagnosed with AIDS. Despite his illness, he accelerated his creative efforts, broadened the scope of his photographic inquiry, and accepted numerous commissions. The Whitney Museum of American Art mounted his first major American museum retrospective in 1988, one year before his death in 1989. Beyond the art historical and social significance of his work, his legacy lives on
through the work of Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, which he established in 1988 to promote photography, support museums that exhibit photographic art, and to find medical research in the fight against AIDS and HIVrelated infection.

Mapplethorpe’s work has historically provoked strong reactions, most notably during the so-called Culture Wars of the 1980s, a period of conflict between conservative and liberal factions. The traveling retrospective, The Perfect Moment, opened at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia in 1988. Among the 150 photographs and objects in the show were the sadomasochistic imagery of Mapplethorpe’s X portfolio, as well as the Y and Z portfolios; the show appeared in two venues without any incident. When it was due to open at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., during the summer of 1989, politicians who opposed federal funding for the arts became alarmed. The Corcoran canceled the exhibition, resulting in a protest against the gallery’s withdrawal of the show. Controversy ensued further at a subsequent venue, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, where charges of obscenity were brought against director David Barrie. In this high-profile trial, five images from the X portfolio were used as evidence. Barrie was acquitted, and Mapplethorpe has been linked to debates about censorship ever since.

Today's News

October 22, 2012

Naked Men: Power and Powerlessness through the Ages opens at the Leopold Museum

Important discoveries to be presented at Europe's premier Old Masters fair: Paris Tableau

LACMA presents The X, Y, and Z portfolios by American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe

Male nude posters plaster Vienna, draw complaints, organizers are being forced into cover-up mode

Unflinching moving image works by Steve McQueen presented at the Art Institute

Kunsthaus Zürich presents investigations into the Giacometti plasters

Judge sides with DC Comics in fight over Superman, heirs of superhero's co-creator signed away copyrights

MoMA PS1 presents a thematic exhibition investigating the nature of images in contemporary art today

Exhibition of recent paintings, prints, and tapestries by Chuck Close opens at the Pace Gallery in New York

Rowan and Erwan Bouroullec's first major solo show in the U.S. in almost ten years opens in Chicago

Royal Ontario Museum researchers publish new theory on origin of flightless birds

CAM Raleigh presents new artworks in exhibition by Puerto Rican artist Angel Otero

StolenSpace Gallery opens Shepard Fairey's second solo exhibition in London

New York based artist Juliana Cerqueria Leite opens second solo show with TJ Boulting

Florida man charged in New York dinosaur fossils case

Mid-career retrospective of the work of Irish artist Alice Maher opens at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

Chrysler Museum introduces Thai artist Pinaree Sanpitak and her interactive installation to America

The Hilton Brothers: 'Andy Dandy and other works' at galerie hiltawsky in Berlin

Constructivist sculpture exhibition opens at The Ukrainian Museum

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- New Rembrandt found after being bought at London auction

2.- Exhibition at Fotohof focuses on groups in society who are at risk of marginalisation

3.- John Brennan collection of Rock n Roll memorabilia offered at RR Auction

4.- A Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction

5.- Exhibition in San Francisco focuses on the latter half of René Magritte's career

6.- 'Mad' king Ludwig II of Bavaria lost gift to composer Richard Wagner gets rare show

7.- New Royal Academy of Arts opens in celebration of its 250th anniversary

8.- Researchers uncover Anne Frank's 'dirty jokes'in her diary

9.- New York art sales near $3 billion in two weeks as uber-rich hunt trophies

10.- Berlin's Ethnological Museum returns grave-plundered artefacts to Alaska

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful