Robert Mapplethorpe - Photographs London Wednesday, May 18, 2011 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Sotheby’s, New York, 23 April 2003, lot 276

  • Literature

    Robert Mapplethorpe, Pistils, London: Jonathan Cape, 1996, p. 154 (i), p. 33 (ii), p. 156 (iii), p. 158 (iv), p. 159 and back cover (v); Mapplethorpe: The Complete Flowers, Munich: teNeues, 2006, pl. 160 (i), pl. 164 (iv) and pl. 162 (v)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Green Poppy, 1987; Sepia Rose, 1987; Green Amaryllis, 1987; Blue Rose, 1987; Sepia Orchid, 1987

  • 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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Selected Flowers

Five colour photogravures.
Each approximately 47.9 x 48.6 cm (18 7/8 x 19 1/8 in).
Each signed, dated ‘1988’ and numbered 20/25 in pencil in the margin.

£20,000 - 30,000 


19 May 2011