Galería Elvira González is pleased to announce the gallery's second exhibition of work by the North American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (New York, 1946 – Boston, 1989), which will open on May 23rd. The show presents 21 works dating between 1980 and 1989.
The selection consists of various compositions that draw their inspiration from forms and fragments of the human body, in particular male nudes and portraits of Mapplethorpe's frequent model, Lisa Lyon. In addition, among the works on view are a number of photographs of animals, plants and objects, all of which display the vivid light contrasts and suggestive geometry that characterize Mapplethorpe's work. One of the most important photographers of the 20th century, Robert Mapplethorpe began his artistic career in New York in the late 1960's. His photographs from the early 1970's, which included polaroids of his immediate environment, depicted New York's underground scene and were imbued with a pronounced homoeroticism.
Mapplethorpe also created photographic collages, occasionally on serigraphed canvases. By the early 1980's Mapplethorpe's work began to evolve toward greater refinement and a more developed sense of classical beauty. His sculpture- like male and female nudes, his straightforward portraits of celebrities, and his still-lifes with flowers date from this period. Although he worked with color on certain occasions, Mapplethorpe was intensely absorbed by black- and-white photography's capacity for minimalist elegance. At the same time, he continued expandinghis photography's scope by incorporating new formats and techniques to his oeuevre, such as silver-gelatin prints, photo-engravings, platinum prints on paper and textiles, and dye-transfer cibachromes.
Mapplethorpe's photographs of flowers, like his portraits, are carefully arranged combinations of curves and phallic symbols that succeed in transmitting a raw and powerful sexuality. At the same time, the compositional play of light and shadow connect photography itself with pleasure and eroticism.