Robert Mapplethorpe and the Classical Tradition.
Photograps by Robert Mapplethorpe. Essays by Germano Celant, Jennifer Blessing and Arkady Ippolitov.
208 pp., 168 four-color illustrations, 10x11".
The premise of this gorgeous new book is simple: an exploration of the relationship between the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) and Classical art, in particular through late 16th century Mannerist engravings and sculpture. Mapplethorpe was clearly inspired by the Renaissance sculpture of Michelangelo and Canova but there seems to be a more readily accessible dialogue between the photographers work and pieces by the Dutch and Flemish artists Hendrik Goltzius, Jan Muller, and Jacob Matham. The exhibition squarely focusses on Mapplethorpe's lifelong and impassioned study of the human form. Mapplethorpe has described photography as 'the perfect way to make a sculpture.' This handsome new book sets a standard for scholarship into the intellectual and artistic sources of a major figure in 20th century photography.
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