"MAPPLETHORPE - VON GLOEDEN. Beauty and Desire", from September 23rd, 2023, to February 14th, 2024, at Museo Novecento of Florence.
Fondazione Alinari per la Fotografia announces the opening of the exhibition "MAPPLETHORPE - VON GLOEDEN. Beauty and Desire", at the Museo Novecento in Florence, from September 23rd, 2023, to February 14th, 2024.
Curated by Sergio Risaliti, together with Eva Francioli and Muriel Prandato.
The exhibition is a tribute to one of the greatest exponents of twentieth-century photography, Robert Mapplethorpe (New York, 1946 – Boston, 1989), in an unprecedented comparison with the shots of Wilhelm von Gloeden and a selection of photographs from the Alinari archive.
The project was organized with the fundamental contribution of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation and the Fondazione Alinari per la Fotografia.
Beauty and Desire draws inspiration from a considerable group of works that highlights Mapplethorpe's intense artistic production, underlining the link of his research with classicism, as well as his sculptural approach to the photographic medium, made evident both in the study of the nude, male and feminine, as in still life. Starting from this focus, Robert Mapplethorpe's work is compared with some photographs dating back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, from the Alinari Archives. Among these, some images of Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden (Wismar, 1856 – Taormina, 1931), one of the pioneers of staged photography, take on special importance. One of the distinctive features of the atmospheres that animate von Gloeden's compositions is precisely the reference to the past, conceived as an inexhaustible source of subjects and suggestions: a unique stylistic sign, which still makes him an icon today.
The photographs of Mapplethorpe and von Gloeden, while drawing inspiration from the canons of classicism, seem to lead along unexpected and at times disturbing aesthetic trajectories, raising and resolving questions on the theme of the body and sexuality whose echo resonates, at times unchanged, in contemporary visual culture.
The exhibition is promoted by the Municipality of Florence, in collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation and the Fondazione Alinari per la Fotografia. Organized by MUS.E.
Thanks to AON Spa and Unicoop Firenze.