He became famous, not to say notorious, in the seventies and eighties for his controversial photography. Now, Robert Mapplethorpe is the subject of a year long exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
Part one of the Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now retrospectively explored Mapplethorpe's classic nudes and BDSM portraits of queer underground communities; the second iteration of the exhibition examines his longstanding influence on contemporary art and culture. Six artists in the Guggenheim collection – Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Lyle Ashton Harris, Glenn Ligon, Zanele Muholi, Catherine Opie, and Paul Mpagi Sepuya – show alongside a selection of Mapplethorpe’s arresting self-portraits. Each of the artists present unique explorations of identity through photographic portraiture.
In addition, a curated pick of images by Mapplethorpe, depicting figures such as Patti Smith, Grace Jones, Lawrence Weiner and Lisa Lyon, are also on show.
The exhibition runs from 24 July 2019 - 5 January 2020.