Emma Geliot's picture

Robert Mapplethorpe Patti Smith (1979) ARTIST ROOMS Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation Robert MapplethorpePatti Smith (1979)ARTIST ROOMSTate and National Galleries of Scotland. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Aberystwyth Arts Centre is delighted to bring Robert Mapplethorpe's photographic work to its audiences as its first project with ARTIST ROOMS.

Encompassing self-portraits and portraits from throughout the artist s career, as well as a number of flower and still life works, ARTIST ROOMS: Robert Mapplethorpe will allow audiences in Wales to experience the quality and range of the photographer s extraordinary oeuvre.

Robert Mapplethorpe was an American photographer known for his highly stylised black and white photography of monumental proportions. His erotic imagery - often dubbed pornographic - covered a diversity of subject matter including still life, male and female nudes, the underground BDSM scene in 1970s New York, as well as his numerous celebrity acquaintances including Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry. The contemporary, forward-thinking and challenging photographs exquisitely reference classical and religious imagery with a compelling result.

Mapplethorpe's long-standing roommate, Patti Smith, once said of him: "Robert took areas of dark human consent and made them into art. He worked without apology, investing the homosexual with grandeur, masculinity, and enviable nobility. Without affectation, he created a presence that was wholly male without sacrificing feminine grace. He was not looking to make a political statement or an announcement of his evolving sexual persuasion. He was presenting something new, something not seen or explored as he saw and explored it."

The photographs on display in Aberystwyth Arts Centre are taken from ARTIST ROOMS, an inspirational collection of modern and contemporary art acquired for the nation by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. The ARTIST ROOMS tour programme, now in its seventh year, is showing at 17 museums and galleries across the UK in 2015.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an innovative learning and participation programme to engage and develop audiences throughout the showing period, which will include events instigated and directed by young people from the area, learning resources available through the medium of Welsh, a related film programme and a cinematic trailer commissioned especially for the show.

Eve Ropek, curator at Aberystwyth Arts Centre said,We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with Artist Rooms and to bring this outstanding collection of work by an artistic icon to our audiences.

Robert Mablethorpe's work will be exhibited at Aberystwyth Arts Centre from 7 August - 7 November 2015

www.aberystwythartscentre.co.uk