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Culture news, 15.12.2004 16:27

Notorious Robert Mapplethorpe In Hermitage

Robert Mapplethorpe Robert Mapplethorpe And The Classical Tradition: Photographs and Mannerist Prints, one of the most notorious European exhibitions of 2004 opened in the Hermitage. In August-October 2004 it was running in the Deutsche Guggenheim museum in Berlin and enjoyed tremendous success. Now the exhibition is shown in St. Petersburg where it was invented, Kommersant newspaper writes.

Five halls. Black-and-white photographs and prints. The 16th and 20th centuries. Mannerism and post-modernism. Black and white bodies. Statics and dynamics. Torsos, arms and muscles. Flowers and antique statues. A man in a circle and a man in a square. The coldest of the greatest photographers and the most ironic of the greatest engravers. The madness of life on the faces and bodies of models and the silence of upcoming death in the self-portrait before non-existence. This is the first-ever Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition in Russia.

The idea to hold this event occurred to Arkady Ippolitov, curator of the Hermitage department of West European art history. He offered to show the connection between the photographer and classic art.

This is the most interesting project of cooperation between the Hermitage and Guggenheim Foundation. Fifty prints from the Hermitage collection represent the 'old' art, while 70 photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe represent the 'new' art. Mr. Ippolitov selected nontrivial and most convincing showpieces for the classical part of the exhibition - northern mannerist prints of the 17th century.

Each Robert Mapplethorpe's exhibition is expected to create a scandal. However, the exhibition in the Hermitage has nothing to do with scandals. It deals with the great art of the great artist.

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