I posted a blog entry about the Mapplethorpe exhibition at the Getty Museum a few days ago. Well, there is a second Mapplethorpe exhibition in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The X, Y, and Z Portfolios (published in 1978, 1978, and 1981, respectively) by American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989) summarize Mapplethorpe’s ambitions as a fine-art photographer and contemporary artist, reflecting the tripartite division of his mature work: homosexual sadomasochistic imagery (X); floral still lifes (Y); and nude portraits of African-American men (Z). Mapplethorpe’s work has consistently provoked strong reactions, notably during the so-called Culture Wars of the 1980s. The exhibition is an opportunity to assess Mapplethorpe’s confrontational photographs—with their paradoxical mix of classicizing, austere form and raw, uninhibited content—through three series that defined not only his artistic career, but also a moment in American cultural politics. The exhibition, together with the Getty Museum’s concurrent In Focus: Robert Mapplethorpe, celebrates the landmark joint acquisition, in 2011, of the Robert Mapplethorpe Archive by LACMA, the Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute.
This exhibition runs October 21, 2012–March 24, 2013
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90036
Phone: 323 857-6000
By Jim McKinniss
Lest I Forget – Ciociaria copyright Douglas Stockdale
I am very happy to announce that my photograph “Lest I Forget” from my Ciociaria project and photobook, was curated into the December group exhibition at the Orange County Contemporary Center for Art (OCCCA).
The exhibition will have two opening, the first is this Saturday, December 1st, from 6pm to 10 pm and the second will be on January 5th, 2013, also from 6pm to 10 pm.
A very nice way to finish the year! (and of course, to start the new year) My thanks to the curator, Jeff Alu.
BTW, the Ciociaria trade edition as well as Limited Edition book + print are still available from both photo-eye and Ampersand Gallery.
A key figure in late 20th-century photography, Robert Mapplethorpe created work with a distinctive tension between opposites: sacred and profane, mainstream and underground, light and dark. From his early Polaroid portraits, to his fashion photography and later controversial work, Mapplethorpe’s photographs are well-ordered and emotionally restrained, with dangerously chaotic and sensuous elements below.
Born in Queens, New York in 1946, Mapplethorpe studied graphic arts at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn before dropping out in 1969. He met the musician, poet, and artist Patti Smith in 1967 and they lived together as intimate and artistic partners until 1974. In 1972, Mapplethorpe met two influential curators. John McKendry gave him his first Polaroid camera, with which he made self-portraits and portraits of his friends and acquaintances in the art world. Samuel Wagstaff, Jr. later became the artist’s lover and mentor. By the mid-1970s, Mapplethorpe had acquired a medium format camera and began photographing the world of New York’s S and M clubs.
Mapplethorpe refined his style in the early 1980s to create elegant figure studies, delicate floral still lifes, nudes, as well as glamorous celebrity portraits. His preference for simple compositions and a sophisticated use of lighting to articulate subtleties of form distinguished his mature work
His career was successfully championed by pioneering photographs dealer Harry Lunn, who along with Robert Miller and Robert Self, published portfolios of some of the artist’s most challenging work. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Mapplethorpe’s X Portfolio was at the center of an American culture war over whether public monies should be used to underwrite art some deemed obscene or blasphemous.
In 1989, at age forty-two, Mapplethorpe died from complications of AIDS. A year earlier, he had established the foundation that protects his work, promotes his legacy, and supports the causes he believed in, such as art programs and HIV/AIDS prevention and care.
This show runs October 23, 2012–March 24, 2013
By Jim McKinniss
The following text is from Aline Smithson’s Lenscratch.com. You can see the entire blog posting at:
Margaret de Lange lives and works in Norway. She studied photography in Oslo. She has held solo exhibitions among other places in: Tarragona, Brussels, Paris, New York, Stockholm . She was recognized for Best portfolio at the Photo Festival in Arles, France, and with an Honorable mention by the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. She has published two books, Daughters and Surrounded by no one with Trolleybooks (London) .
In her series entitled, Daughters, Margaret presents black and white photographs taken of her two daughters during the summers of their childhood. Though the project began in 1993 and continued through 2002, it wasn’t until both daughters were old enough to grant their permission did de Lange take the step of exhibiting the work.
The images depict the two girls enjoying their summers out of doors, barefoot and often bare-bodied, in a dark and grainy, high-contrast style. In the photographs, the children seem to be a part of the nature around them, with dirt and grass clinging to knees and feet, with hoods of animal skin; they become like the creatures of Scandinavian folklore that, as de Lange explains, “were said to appear at twilight, and were always beautiful, but often evil as well.” And so we view the daughters, captured as they linger in a hazy half-darkness, in that time between day and night and an age between child and adult, exploring, discovering, and experiencing all of those little adventures which amount to growing up. These “creatures” exhibit their initiated ways through various little clues: dead birds hanging from string, bold stares from beneath fury capes. All together, the effect is unabashedly dark and earthy, yet calm and elegantly matter-of-fact.
By Jim McKinniss