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Weinstein Hammons Gallery, with the assistance of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, is pleased to present Robert Mapplethorpe: Outside the Studio an exhibition of more than 25 gelatin silver prints that date from 1976 to 1987. This is the first exhibition devoted exclusively to this subject matter. 


On View Starting: Friday, July 22nd, 2022 

This exhibition presents photographs Robert Mapplethorpe shot outside of his studio, from Fire Island to Los Angeles, London to Puerto Rico. The selection of photographs exemplifies Mapplethorpe’s iconic style even without the control his Manhattan studio provided him. His continued interest in light and shadow is represented in Apartment Windows, where the silhouette of a nearby building dramatically darkens the windows of an apartment complex. Mapplethorpe’s tight and precise cropping is evident in the photograph of Thomas, who is dramatically backlit against a cloudless sky. Throughout the exhibition are images of both Patti Smith and Lisa Lyon, who Mapplethorpe photographed consistently over the course of his career. Boys swimming in the ocean and David Hockney caught mid yawn reveal Mapplethorpe’s openness to serendipitous encounters. This radically fresh exhibition shows the breadth of Mapplethorpe’s artistic inquiry.

Formally trained in painting and sculpture, Robert Mapplethorpe took up photography in the mid 1970s and quickly rose to recognition in the NYC art scene. In the 1980s, he became a prolific studio photographer specifically known for his precise lighting, tight crops, and adherence to the aesthetics of classical ideals of beauty, form, and proportion. The artist himself called photography “a perfect way to make a sculpture” and exemplified this concept with the subject matter of portraits, nudes and still lifes. 

Perhaps one of the most famous and controversial artists to emerge from the late 1970s and 1980s, it is nearly impossible to overestimate the impact of Robert Mapplethorpe's work, both artistically and socially. He was born in 1946 in Floral Park, New York, and earned a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Mapplethorpe died of AIDS on March 9, 1989 in Boston at 42 years old. Since that time, his work has been the subject of innumerable exhibitions throughout the world, including major museum traveling retrospectives. His vast, provocative, and powerful body of work has established him as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century.