Robert Mapplethorpe in Paris: Grand Palais, Musée Rodin
March 27, 2014 § Leave a comment
Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé may have spotted Robert Mapplethorpe’s talent early on, but for a long time France failed to give the legendary American photographer the institutional recognition he deserved. Not anymore.
Today the Grand Palais in Paris is unveiling the artist’s first retrospective in the country, while the Musée Rodin is gearing up for an intimate presentation of his photographs, shown alongside works by the great French sculptor Auguste Rodin.
The exhibition marks a new direction for the Grand Palais, which has only recently started to dedicate major solo shows to photographers. It began with the 2012 Helmut Newton exhibition, also curated by [Jérôme] Neutres.
Opening on April 8, the Musée Rodin exhibition will gather 102 photographs presented alongside 50 Rodin sculptures. Italian curator Germano Celant was the first to link the two artists. But it was the French art critic Judith Benhamou-Huet who suggested the idea to the Musée Rodin—she’s co-curator of the show, associate curator of the Grand Palais retrospective, and the author of the monograph Dans la vie noire et blanche de Robert Mapplethorpe, out this month.
“We chose Mapplethorpe’s most sculptural photographs, then looked for pieces that would resonate with them in our collection,” explains co-curator of the Musée Rodin show Hélène Pinet. “It’s very much Mapplethorpe-Rodin, not Rodin-Mapplethorpe.”