The exhibition will feature iconic works from Mapplethorpe’s career from his early work in the 1970’s to the 1990’s. Featured will be portraits, still-life and figure studies as well as lesser known works including early drawings, collages, sculptures and Polaroid works. Also shown will be working materials from Mapplethorpe’s archive as well as rare color photographs and video works.
Mapplethorpe is one of the iconic New York photographers of the late 20th Century. The exhibition is a joint effort and this landmark exhibition will be spread across both museums. Curating is Paul Martineau, associate curator in the Getty Museum’s Department of Photographs and Britt Salvesen, curator of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department and the Prints and Drawings Department at LACMA.
Also interesting will be an exhibition at the Getty’s Center for Photographs at the same time – The Thrill of the Chase: The Wagstaff Collection of Photographs. Sam Wagstaff was a curator of contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, Wadsworth Atheneum, Detroit Institute of Arts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In addition to curating, he was also an avid collector and is largely credited for the modern interest in collecting contemporary photography.
He was also Mapplethorpe’s partner. In 1984 Wagstaff’s photography collection went to the J. Paul Getty Museum, for a reported price of $5 million.
This promises to be an extremely interesting set of exhibitions.
Robert Mapplethorpe will be on view March 15–July 31, 2016, at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, and March 20–July 31, 2016, at LACMA.
After opening in Los Angeles, Robert Mapplethorpe will travel to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Syndey and a third international venue to be announced.