The Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery is pleased to present an important exhibition of works by American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Hedi Slimane, the artistic director of Dior Homme, also a photographer in his own right, will curate the show.
The concept of the show is to invite a contemporary artist to rediscover a major body of work such as Mapplethorpe's, by reframing the whole, based on his own sensibilities and tastes thus helping us to view the renowned works in a new light. This show follows in the footsteps of a series of exhibits. Previous shows include- « Robert Mapplethorpe: Eye to Eye » organized in 2003 by the American artist Cindy Sherman in New York, as well as the exhibit « Robert Mapplethorpe curated by David Hockney » which took place in London in early 2005.
Both Slimane and Mapplethorpe share a passion for photography, and both, by different means, each in his own generation, have defined the mood and aesthetic of the artistic community to which they belong.
Hedi Slimane has been given free reign to explore themes that inspire him in Mapplethorpe's work. Last May, in conjunction with the release of his book of photographs of rocks bands, Slimane also edited the layout for the daily paper Libération. We can expect to find, in his selection of works for the show, images that reflect themes in both he and Mapplethorpe's lives where their sensibilities, moods and observations converge.
By offering this face-to-face between two creative forces, this event allows us to revisit the work in an intimate, rather than critical manner. When photographing his usual subjects- portraits, flowers, erotica, Mapplethorpe established an aesthetic of balance and perfection. His flawlessly lit subjects and immaculate prints secured him a place among the most important photographers of the 20th Century.
Most of the photographs shown will be loans from important private collections and major international museums such as the Guggenheim.
We will present an assortment of images and Polaroids, certain of which have never been seen before.
Two films will also be shown, Patti Smth Still Moving and Social Mobility a film directed by Hedi Slimane featuring Marianne Faithfull perusing Mapplethorpe's first portfolios. Hedi Slimane has also chosen to show a selection pieces from a collection of jewellery created by the photographer at the beginning of his career.