Robert Mapplethorpe - Photographs New York Tuesday, April 3, 2012 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Gagosian Gallery, New York

  • Literature

    Random House, Mapplethorpe, p. 2 for Waves (Center)

  • Catalogue Essay

    As an artist, Robert Mapplethorpe was a technician, taking a highly skilled and studied approach to composition, lighting and printing. It is surprising then, not only for the fact that Waves (Left, Center, Right) was taken in nearly the same time period that Mapplethorpe was photographing the aggressive and controversial S&M underground, but also that he turned his lens to the unpredictability of nature. Mapplethorpe’s approach to the chaos of the waves however does not change and through the use of a single horizon line he creates a formalist study of the crest and fall of the water.

  • Artist Biography

    Robert Mapplethorpe

    American • 1946 - 1989

    After studying drawing, painting and sculpture at the Pratt Institute in the 1960s, Robert Mapplethorpe began experimenting with photography while living in the notorious Chelsea Hotel with Patti Smith. Beginning with Polaroids, he soon moved on to a Hasselblad medium-format camera, which he used to explore aspects of life often only seen behind closed doors.

    By the 1980s Mapplethorpe's focus was predominantly in the studio, shooting portraits, flowers and nudes. His depiction of the human form in formal compositions reflects his love of classical sculpture and his groundbreaking marriage of those aesthetics with often challenging subject matter. Mapplethorpe's style is present regardless of subject matter — from erotic nudes to self-portraits and flowers — as he ceaselessly strove for what he called "perfection of form."

    View More Works


Waves (Left, Center, Right)

Three gelatin silver prints.
Each approximately 14 1/8 x 14 in. (35.9 x 35.6 cm)
Each signed, annotated, 'left', 'center', 'right', respectively and sequentially numbered '1-3' in pencil on the reverse of the flush-mount.

$18,000 - 22,000 

Sold for $32,500

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs
[email protected]
+ 1 212 940 1245


4 April 2012
New York