Retrospective exhibition with 187 works by the gay photographer Robert Mapplethorpe

“I never liked photography. Not for the sake of photography. I like the object.”
Robert Mapplethorpe

Rigorously flawless, radically focused—the still-lifes and portraits of Robert Mapplethorpe are quiet, formally consummate compositions set in an atmosphere of clinical purity. Movements are harmonized down to the last detail; flawless bodies turn into landscapes; and explicitly sexual acts and nakedness become cool, almost de-eroticized studies of the body, in which technical perfection takes the foreground. This extreme aestheticism strips the content of its severity. It isolates the essentials and opens them up to view. It is precisely this concentration and objectivity that imbues his photographs with a freshness and relevance to this day.