parisianiste

Robert Mapplethorpe

Dive in the amazing and aesthetic world of Robert Mapplethorpe at the Grand Palais in a retrospective featuring 250 of his most famous pictures that best describe his quest for perfection. Enjoy! Parisianist.

Tweet

Tweet

A unique and original retrospective of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs.

Quality and originality of the pictures

A chance to admire the Grand Palais, a magnificent venue

Cloakroom is available in the museum

General explanations are in French and English

Entry to the exhibition is through gate H

A lot of nudity: not suitable for young children

Combined tickets with Musée Rodin (Expo Mapplethrope / Rodin) are sold

Robert Mapplethorpe was born in 1946 and has become one of the most famous American photographers, best known for his very stylish black and white portraits, his flower photographs and nude male artistic pictures. The latter, very crude and sometimes shocking, lead to the “culture wars” in the USA, a questioning on public financing for art. Mapplethorpe died of AIDS at age 42 in 1989 after founding the Robert Mapplethorpe foundation.

Located at entrance H of the Grand Palais (on the left side of the main outside staircase when facing the front of the Grand Palais), the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition proudly displays 250 photographs, making it the biggest ever retrospective of Mapplethorpe’s work. The choice of pictures also emphasizes on the artistic side of his work, as opposed to the photographic side usually highlighted in other smaller exhibitions. 

The exhibition is built “in reverse”, going from his latest work to his first Polaroid pictures taken when he was young. Opening the exhibition is his auto-portrait with a skull cane, a way to symbolize the tragic loss of such a great artist. The first part of the exhibition shows some of his finest sculptural pictures of both men and women’s bodies followed by pictures of his work on the geometrical side of the human body

On the way to the back of the exhibition are pictures of details of the human body and natural objects. In one series of pictures, Mapplethorpe compares a man’s penis with a flower, explaining that sexuality and photography is the same. The only part of the exhibition where you will find really colourful pictures are the ones of flowers located all the way at the back of the hall, as well as the “chapel” with some religion-themed pictures.

The exhibition continues with a section on Mapplethorpe and his pictures of women. Among the many women that have been photographed by Mapplethorpe, singer Patti Smith and female bodybuilder Lisa Lyon are among those that have really inspired and held an important part in the photographer’s life. A series of portraits follows, with many faces you might recognize, such as Andy Warhol, Grace Jones and a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

A small section of the exhibition is only accessible for people over 18. In that section, you will find the most provocative and crude pictures of Mapplethorpe, almost exclusively based on homosexuality and sadomasochism. Finally, the end of the exhibition exposes Mapplethorpe’s first Polaroid shots, where you will clearly see that his search for perfection and aesthetics throughout his career was already present in his younger years.

The exhibition is clearly focused on the artistic side of Mapplethorpe’s work, mostly based on the human body, but also with some pictures of flowers and religious items. It is not suitable for the people that are uncomfortable with erotic photographs or just not interested in aesthetic pictures. But for those who want to admire the beauty of the human body the way Mapplethorpe saw it, with his endless search for perfection and purity, this unique exhibition is a must see! 

Related posts

Bastille Day

administrateur

Aux Origines de Paris | Balades Paris | Guide 4-developers

administrateur

Tokyo Eat | Restaurants Paris | Guide 4-developers

administrateur

Tiki Pop | Paris Exhibitions | 4-developers Fun Fact

administrateur

The Sunken Chip

administrateur

Fondation Louis Vuitton | Musées Paris | Guide 4-developers

administrateur

Having a drink in Iron Man's suite

administrateur

Nanashi

administrateur

Dans Les Landes

administrateur

Monuments

administrateur

Le Meltdown

administrateur

Ralph’s

administrateur

The Week

administrateur

Les Charmes de Montmartre | Balades Paris | Guide 4-developers

administrateur

Le Café Caché

administrateur

Kama Sutra | Paris Exhibitions | Guide 4-developers

administrateur

Crazy Horse | Cabarets Paris |Guide 4-developers

administrateur

Musée en Herbe

administrateur

Lockwood

administrateur

Les 2 Stations

administrateur

Experimental Cocktail Club

administrateur

Chalet des Iles | Restaurants Paris | Guide 4-developers

administrateur

La Coupole | Restaurants Paris | Guide 4-developers

administrateur

Fashion in France, 1947-1957

administrateur

Soya

administrateur

Sugarplum | Cafés Paris | Guide 4-developers

administrateur

Musée des Arts et Métiers | Musées Paris | Guide 4-developers

administrateur

GoldyMama | Shopping Paris | Guide 4-developers

administrateur

Alcina at the Opera Garnier

administrateur

Septime

administrateur