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  • Mapplethorpe-Rodin exhibition at the Musée Rodin, Paris

  • Mapplethorpe-Rodin exhibition at the Musée Rodin, Paris

  • Mapplethorpe-Rodin exhibition at the Musée Rodin, Paris


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Mapplethorpe meets Rodin at the Musée Rodin, Paris

The Musée Rodin dedicates a major exhibition to the parallel universes of two art geniuses, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) and sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917). With the kind support of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, the exhibition presents 50 sculptures by Rodin and 102 photographs by Mapplethorpe, trying to establish a bold dialogue between the artists and to reveal the enduring nature of their favorite themes and subjects. After all, Mapplethorpe was always trying to sculpt the body through photography and was seeing things like they were sculptures. He had even said in one of his interviews that photography is a very quick way to see, to make a sculpture, and that if he had been born one hundred or two hundred years ago, he might have been a sculptor himself. On the other hand, Rodin was a keen collector and an imaginative user of photography, with a personal archive that numbered more than 7,000 prints. The curators of the exhibition carefully chose seven themes that are common to the work of both artists, revealing connections in form, theme and aesthetic: Movement and Tension, Black and White/Light and Shadow, Eroticism and Damnation, Drape, Assemblages and Compositions.

“We chose Mapplethorpe’s most sculptural photographs, then looked for pieces that would resonate with them in our collection. It’s very much Mapplethorpe-Rodin, not Rodin-Mapplethorpe,” explained Hélène Pinet, co-curator of the Musée Rodin show, to Artnet. “There was something almost magical in putting these works together. All of a sudden, we would see things that we weren’t expecting at all and which functioned perfectly well. After this show we’ll look at both Mapplethorpe and Rodin very differently.” This is the first time that sculpture is confronted with photography in an exhibition and the curators’ goal to look at both artistic disciplines from a new angle is more than accomplished. The Mapplethorpe-Rodin exhibition will be on show from 8 April to 21 September 2014 at the Musée Rodin in Paris. Running in parallel with this exhibition, the Grand Palais also dedicates a major retrospective to Mapplethorpe from 26 March to 13 July 2014, through over 200 images that span his career from the early 1970s to his untimely death in 1989. So if you happen to be in Paris, this is a fantastic chance to rediscover Robert Mapplethorpe and find out why he is still capable of inspiring us with his amazing work.