April 02, 2015

J. Paul Getty Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Present Major Robert Mapplethorpe Retrospective Opening March 2016

Exhibition will go on international tour to Montreal, Sydney, and another international venue

Robert Mapplethorpe

March 15–July 31, 2016 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center
March 20–July 31, 2016 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
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Alexandria Sivak
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6473

LOS ANGELES – The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) announced today a major joint retrospective exhibition of the work of artist Robert Mapplethorpe, opening at both venues in March 2016. Following its Los Angeles debut, Robert Mapplethorpe will go on an international tour, traveling to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal, Canada (8/29/16-1/22/17), the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and another international venue. The Getty and LACMA will be the exhibition’s sole U.S. venue.

Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946–1989) is among the most influential visual artists of the late twentieth century. The exhibition reexamines the arc of his photographic work from its humble beginnings in the early 1970s to the culture wars of the 1990s, and includes both his most iconic images and his lesser known photographs. It also explores the artist’s body of work through early drawings, collages, sculptures, and Polaroid photography; working materials from his archive; portraits, still lifes, and figure studies; rare color photographs; and seldom-seen video works. Two complementary presentations are designed to highlight different aspects of the artist’s complex oeuvre.

The exhibition is drawn from the landmark joint Getty/LACMA acquisition of the artist’s art and archives in 2011, made possible by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation’s generous gift and a joint purchase by the Getty/LACMA.

Curators of the exhibition are Paul Martineau, associate curator of photographs in the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Department of Photographs, and Britt Salvesen, curator of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department and the Prints and Drawings Department at LACMA.
Images Left to Right:
1.Thomas, negative 1987; print 1994. Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946 - 1989). Gelatin silver print. Image: 19 3/16 x 19 3/16 in. Jointly acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with funds provided by The David Geffen Foundation, and The J. Paul Getty Trust, 2011.7.31. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

2. Self-Portrait, negative 1980; print 2008. Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946 - 1989). Gelatin silver print. 13 3/4 x 13 3/4 in. Promised Gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to The J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art L.2012.88.378. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

3. Calla Lily, negative 1988; print 1990. Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946 - 1989). Gelatin silver print. 19 5/16 x 19 5/16 in. Jointly acquired by The J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Partial gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by The J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation., 2011.9.26. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

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The J. Paul Getty Museum collects in seven distinct areas, including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts, and photographs gathered internationally. The Museum’s mission is to make the collection meaningful and attractive to a broad audience by presenting and interpreting the works of art through educational programs, special exhibitions, publications, conservation, and research.

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Since its inception in 1965, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has been devoted to collecting works of art that span both history and geography, in addition to representing Los Angeles’s uniquely diverse population. Today LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection that includes over 120,000 objects dating from antiquity to the present, encompassing the geographic world and nearly the entire history of art. Among the museum’s strengths are its holdings of Asian art, Latin American art, ranging from pre-Columbian masterpieces to works by leading modern and contemporary artists; and Islamic art, of which LACMA hosts one of the most significant collections in the world. A museum of international stature as well as a vital part of Southern California, LACMA shares its vast collections through exhibitions, public programs, and research facilities that attract over a million visitors annually, in addition to serving millions through digital initiatives, such as online collections, scholarly catalogues, and interactive engagement. Situated in Hancock Park on over 20 acres in the heart of Los Angeles, LACMA is located between the ocean and downtown.

LACMA Press Inquiries:, 323 857-6522

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