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Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac has invited architect and designer Peter Marino to curate its next exhibition dedicated to photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

This exhibition is part of a series in which the gallery invites guest curators to rediscover this major photographer and to apply their subjective perspective to transpose Mapplethorpe‘s work into a completely new context. With a personalized vision Peter Marino supports the public’s re-discovery of this significant and multi-faceted oeuvre. Preceding curators include Isabelle Huppert (2013), Sofia Coppola (2011), Bob Wilson (2006) and Hedi Slimane (2005). 

For the exhibition XYZ at the gallery in the Marais, Peter Marino revisits the themes he believes fundamental: Mapplethorpe’s XYZ portfolio (X for sex, Y for floral still lifes, and Z for male nudes), selecting from the archives of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation based in New York. Conceiving a dense yet precise curation, he chose 17 Polaroid’s and 60 photographs, some of which are part of the permanent collections of The Guggenheim Museum, LACMA and The Getty Museum.

Furthering the investigation on traditional perceptions of Mapplethorpe’s work, Peter Marino takes on the same challenge as the artist, bringing every form, every attitude, every concept to its most complete realization. The installation conceived by Peter Marino incites visual correspondences, highlighting the architectural bodies and forms, exploring the sexual aesthetics without inhibition.

Peter Marino is the principal of Peter Marino Architect PLLC, an internationally acclaimed architecture, planning and design firm based in New York City. As he is an active patron of the arts he was named in 2012 Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture as in recognition of his significant contributions to furthering art and culture. Peter Marino designed the display of the Lalanne retrospective at the musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, in 2010. The architect holds a significant collection of Mapplethorpe’s photographs, a number of which were featured in the exhibition ONE WAY: Peter Marino at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami last year. In 2017, Peter Marino’s complete collection of Mapplethorpe’s works will debut for the first time, under Marino’s curation for an exhibition in Tokyo, before the photographs travel to Osaka.

Robert Mapplethorpe was born in 1946 on Long Island, New York. He studied painting and sculpture at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. He took his first photos with a Polaroid and in the mid-1970s began to make photography his main means of expression. In the early 1980s he created the classic images with which he is usually associated: sculptural male and female nudes, floral still-lifes, formal portraits of artists and celebrities. In 1988 he created the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac has been representing the artist’s work since 2000. A large part of his work has entered the permanent collections of the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and, more recently, LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum) and the Getty Museum, Los Angeles. In March 2016, the Getty and LACMA will jointly present the most extensive Robert Mapplethorpe retrospective to date.