Exhibition in Florence: Robert Mapplethorpe - Perfection in Form

Robert Mapplethorpe - Perfection in Form. Curator Jonathan Nelson


Runs: 26th May – 27th September 2009
Venue: Galleria dell’Accademia - Via Ricasoli, 58-60, Firenze
Hours: Tuesdays – Sundays, from 8.15a.m.to 6.50p.m. Closed on Mondays. The ticket office closes at 6.20p.m.
Tickets: Full rate € 10.00 (including museum entrance). Concession: € 5.00 for European citizens between 18 and 25 years. Free admission for European citizens under 18 and over 65 years
Interesting notes: From 28th May to10th September 2009 free entrance to the exhibition on Thursdays from 7.00p.m.to 9.00p.m. From 7th July to 29th September 2009 opening of the museum and of the exhibition on Tuesdays from 7.00p.m. to 9.00p.m. at the regular price.
For booking and information Firenze Musei Tel. 055. 290112 

An exhibition dedicated to great American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, in the twentieth anniversary of his death, for the first time at the Accademia Gallery of Florence, known worldwide as the ‘Michelangelo Museum’.

A reasonable comparison between Mapplethorpe and Michelangelo. Perfection in Form intend to express the profound principle that associates the artist of photography with the great Renaissance masters and, in particular, with Michelangelo: the search for balance, the precision and clarity inherent to ‘Form’ that tends toward perfection by means of the geometric rigour of volumes defined by line and sculpted by light.

Mapplethorpe had appreciated contemporary art, but his real love had been for Old Master works, particularly sculpture. … He had strived to capture in his photography the perfection of form that he perceived in the works of Michelangelo and other Renaissance masters” (Michael Ward Stout, President of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation).
Moreover, the photographer himself confessed his fascination for the art of Michelangelo, even stating: “If I had been born one hundred or two hundred years ago, I might have been a sculptor, but photography is a very quick way to see, to make sculpture”. And further on, “I see things like sculpture. … It’s about how that form sits in space and I think that kind of approach comes from my … art historical training.”.

The material presented in the exhibit is grouped into four sections that address four different aspects of one great theme: Form. This is understood as a value in itself, divided not only by the objective content, that is, the subject matter represented, but also by the subjective content, that is, the baggage of personal experience (emotional, cognitive, or other), which is transmitted through the image: Geometry of Form, Fragment as Form, Repeating Form, and Sculptural Form.” (Franca Falletti).

The works on show overall number 111, including Michelangelo’s David and the four Prisoners, as integrating parts of the terms of comparison, in addition to four drawings and a wax model also by Michelangelo. The 93 works by Mapplethorpe have been selected from his entire artistic activity and, but for two exceptions, all come from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. These include human subjects as well as numerous still-lifes, such as vases of irises or tulips, where Mapplethorpe confirms all of his attention for the study of light and shadows on the object, or as background for the object or its form, which give it a clear placement in space.
The exhibition promoters are: the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali with the Direzione Generale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici della Toscana and the Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico, the Polo Museale della città di Firenze, and the Galleria dell’Accademia of Florence – directed by Franca Falletti – Firenze Musei and Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze. With its irreplaceable patrimony of works, documentation and knowledge, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation joins the Italian institutions in promoting this exceptional event.

Website: www.unannoadarte.it/mapplethorpe

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