Robert Mapplethorpe


gelatin silver print
20 x 16 inches

Robert Mapplethorpe’s striking images of the male body range from formal figure studies to erotically charged nudes. Jason possesses qualities of both in its pairing of a sensual nude form balanced on a curved stool. Mapplethorpe creates a compositional structure of overlapping angles and lines, and the strength and elegance of the tense, active body is mirrored in the arc of the stool’s legs. Mapplethorpe’s characteristic use of contrasting lights and dark, and a sensuous range of greys, unify the photograph and give the entire scene a calm beauty. During his lifetime, Mapplethorpe participated in Documenta 6 in 1977, and The Whitney Museum of American Art held his first major American museum retrospective in 1988, a year before his death. In 2013, exhibitions of his work were held simultaneously at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center.