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‘Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe’ at Guggenheim

Are you intrigued, fascinated or interested by daring photography works? Well, you are not too late to explore the life & work of one of the most celebrated yet controversial photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe (1946 – 1989). Mapplethorpe, was an American photographer of the late 20th Century, known for his beautiful yet sensitive and blunt photography works, which featured controversial subjects in black and white medium of photography. Homoeroticism which was featured in some of his works, fuelled national discussions on public funding of controversial works.

Three decades after his death, an exhibition at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York, explores the artist’s work and legacy, as well as his influence on other contemporary artists. Titled ‘Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe’, the exhibition has been split into two sequential phases:

The first phase, currently on view, through July 10th (January 25th – 10th July 2019), exhibits highlights from the museum’s Mapplethorpe collection, including: portraiture comprising of Mapplethorpe’s prime ones, male and female nudes, collage, mixed media and flowers. In 1993, the Guggenheim was gifted with approximately 200 photography works and objects by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, which led to the establishment of the museum’s photography collection.

The second phase (July 24th 2019 – January 5th 2020), will discourse the artist’s legacy in contemporary art, by exhibiting his works alongside a range of works that seem to have been inspired by the Mapplethorpe approach, by contemporary artists in the museum’s collection, including: Lyle Ashton Harris, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Catherine Opie, Zanele Muholi, Paul Mpagi Sepuya and Glenn Ligon.

Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe’ is presented in the museum’s Mapplethorpe Gallery on Tower Level 4.

The exhibition is organized by:

Lauren Hinkson, Associate Curator Collections.

Susan Thompson, Associate Curator.

Levi Prombau, Curatorial Assistant, Collections.

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