Robert Mapplethorpe - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 11, 2023 | Phillips

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  • This photograph comes originally from the collection of Richard Lorenz (1952-2001), the writer and photo historian best known for his books on the work of Imogen Cunningham – Imogen Cunningham: Ideas Without End (1993), Flora (1996), Portraiture (1997), and On the Body (1998) – and as Trustee of the Imogen Cunningham Trust. His collection was a diverse one and included, in addition to the Mapplethorpe offered here, works by Eugène Atget, Constantin Brancusi, Dora Maar, László Moholy-Nagy, and Jaromir Funke, all reflecting his deep understanding of the medium of photography.  

    • Provenance

      Collection of Richard Lorenz, San Francisco
      Phillips de Pury & Company, Saturday@Phillips, 17 December 2005, lot 324

    • Literature

      Holborn and Levas, Mapplethorpe, p. 97 (variant)

    • 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."

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Gelatin silver print.
13 3/4 x 13 7/8 in. (34.9 x 35.2 cm)
Signed twice, dated in ink, and copyright credit reproduction limitation stamp on the reverse of the flush-mount. Number 2 from an edition of 10.

Full Cataloguing

$5,000 - 7,000 

Sold for $11,430

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs


Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 11 October 2023