Robert Mapplethorpe and the Classical Tradition jellemzők

This sumptuously illustrated catalogue accompanies the major exhibition of the same name at the Guggenheim Museum. Addressing the return to classicism at the end of the 16th, 19th and 20th centuries, Ippolitov discusses the obsession that defines both the work of Mapplethorpe and the Mannerists. Mythological and allegorical themes are explored as well as an examination of the pursuit of the ideal and its ultimate expression - death. Celant's text further explores the influence of 16th-century style on Mapplethorpe's practice and sensibility, illuminating the artist's interest in the study of pure form as well as allegorical imagery. Articulated in both word and image, the catalogue also traces Mapplethorpe's complex relationship to the history of art more broadly, ranging from Neoclassicism to Surrealism, with comparisons to the work of Jacques-Louis David, Antonio Canova, Auguste Rodin, Man Ray, and more. In this light, a third essay by Guggenheim curator Jennifer Blessing traces allegorical representations in the 19th and 20th centuries' history of photography, with reference to Mapplethorpe's oeuvre. Blessing discusses examples of highly stylized, theatrical and non-naturalistic scenes and portraits, suggesting that these mannered images are determined by the clash between idealistic intent of their makers and the realism of photographic representation.