previews

  • Patti Smith, 1976.

    Patti Smith, 1976.

    Robert Mapplethorpe

    PalaisPopulaire
    Unter den Linden 5
    July 24–October 17, 2004

    The photographer whose 1990 retrospective resulted in obscenity charges against Cincinnati’s Contemporary Art Center was also a flaming neoclassicist. Throughouth his career, Robert Mapplethorpe seesawed between the decadent and the decorative. Focusing on the latter, this show examines the artist’s debt to the Mannerists, juxtaposing 125 of his photos of classical busts and artfully truncated nudes with Renaissance statuary, woodcuts, and engravings. While Mapplethorpe’s early investigations of the homoerotic underground remain an important counterbalance to his later exercises in chilly aestheticism, with this show the scales appear to be tipping.

    Travels to the Hayward Gallery, London, Feb. 10, 2005–Apr. 17, 2005; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, May 15, 2005–Aug. 20, 2005; and other venues.