25 years after Mapplethorpe’s death, an overview on his nudes, portraits, self-portraits, floral still lifes and other works compiled by the art critic Germano Celant.
Robert Mapplethorpe’s wide, provocative and powerful body of work has established him as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. The American photographer is mostly known for images that simultaneously challenge and adhere to classical aesthetic standards: stylised compositions of male and female nudes, delicate flower still lifes and studio portraits of artists and celebrities, to list a few of his preferred genres. Since 1977 Germano Celant has come in contact with Robert Mapplethorpe, realising interviews and writing essays on the occasion of several publications and exhibitions. For the first time, this volume gathers the complete anthology of Celant’s writings on the artist: from the 1983 exhibition at Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, projected with the collaboration of the artist himself, to the posthumous writings published in the catalogues prepared on the occasion of the exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum, New York and the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg since 1990. This book, through over 140 images and texts that appear both personal and scientific, aims to pay tribute to Robert Mapplethorpe’s contribution to the history of photography.