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  • Provenance

    Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin

  • Catalogue Essay

    Robert Mapplethorpe reached what many consider to be his creative apex in the early 1980s as he shifted from Polaroids, collages and “shocking” subject matter to a focus on larger formats, classically-inspired subjects and compositions with a complete mastery of his meticulous—and flawless—black and white technique. Phillip Prioleau (1982) is a standout example of Mapplethorpe’s work during this period: the nude subject bares his back to the camera, framed by an arch made of translucent fabric, the musculature of his broad shoulders and back reminiscent of classical sculpture. The image is both forthcoming and mysterious: an impenetrable opacity surrounds it subject, revealing little but the insistent echoes of art’s classical tradition in the timeless curves of the male nude’s anatomy.

  • 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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Philip Prioleau

Gelatin silver print.

15 3/4 x 19 3/4 in. (40 x 50 cm).

Signed and stamped by Michael Ward Stout as the Executor of the Estate of Robert Mapplethorpe on the reverse. This work is from an edition of 10.

£2,000 - 3,000 

Sold for £9,600

The Marino Golinelli Collection

13 October 2007, 1pm