On the Radar Robert Mapplethorpe Curated by The Scissor Sisters
4th February 2011

Robert Mapplethorpe Curated by The Scissor Sisters

Words Penny Brewer

Photography Robert Mapplethorpe

Night Work

19th January – 19th March 2011

An icon of the American avant-garde in the late twentieth century, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe has inspired a wide range of visual artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians and most recently, eccentric new york band The Scissor Sisters.

Curated by the band, the exhibition at the Alison Jacques Gallery, brings together seven Mapplethorpe images chosen by the Scissor Sisters after they deployed a series of his photographs as the artwork for their recent album, as well as the singles from the album and the design concept for the accompanying world tour. Alongside these chosen photographs are Polaroids and unique and rarely seen sculptures by the Mapplethorpe and a selection of important works by major contemporary artists who have admired or been influenced by his aesthetic and attitude.

There is a feeling of harmony and balance in Mapplethorpe’s work through tone and compostion. He was perversely committed to the pursuit of ideal form, exploring desire, transgression and identity with a powerful sense of freedom. His fascination with eroticism and mortality, beauty and liberty produced very contemporary interpretations of universal themes which still have a feeling of innovation and modernity over two decades later.

The exhibition not only celebrates the often dark and distinctly decadent sensibility of Mapplethorpe and communicates the powerful creativity and raw sexuality of his work but also showcases the influence he has had, before his untimely death of AIDS related illness in 1989.

Robert Mapplethorpe: Night Work runs until 19th March 2011 at the Alison Jacques Gallery in London. Click here for more information.