Until 6 October
Exhibition closed

"Sono entrato nel mondo della fotografia perché mi sembrava fosse veicolo perfetto per commentare la follia dell'esistenza odierna" (Robert Mapplethorpe)

Robert Mapplethorpe. The Sensitive Lens, displays forty-five works and focuses on some of the themes distinguishing the work of Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989): his study of still lifes, landscapes, classical sculpture and Renaissance composition.
Flaminia Gennari’s decision to organise an exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe’s work was inspired by the artist’s habit of collecting: he was an avid collector of historical photographs, a passion he shared with his partner, Sam Wagstaff, whose photography collection — composed largely of portraits, figures and landscapes ¬¬— is an extraordinary resource for the photography department of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
This exhibition is unique because, according to Flaminia Gennari, “On many occasions his photographs have been compared to the works of artists of the past — Michelangelo, Hendrick Goltzius, Auguste Rodin — through surprising and revealing dialogues; however, this is the first time they have been exhibited in the context of a collection of eighteenth century paintings.”
The photographs have been selected and arranged in Galleria Corsini with several different aims: to highlight the aspects of Mapplethorpe’s work that resonate particularly with Galleria Corsini, a space — in both physical and conceptual terms — dedicated to collecting, in order to forge a new relationship between visitors, the works and the areas within the gallery.
Flaminia Gennari writes that, “Mapplethorpe never visited Galleria Corsini; yet he certainly would have found its rooms interesting as they are still arranged according to the taste of Cardinal Neri Maria Corsini (1685–1770), who created the collection and lived in Palazzo Corsini from 1738 until his death. In the eighteenth century, paintings were arranged on the walls according to the criteria of symmetry, eurythmy and variety of composition, which encouraged visitors to identify similarities and differences among the works, thereby training their eye. These are the same principles that guided Mapplethorpe’s lens over the course of his career. By introducing his photographs — black and white magnets attracting the eye within the colourful backdrop of paintings covering the walls — visitors are invited to explore Galleria Corsini as if they were eighteenth century connoisseurs, searching for similarities, symmetries and differences.”
Robert Mapplethorpe. The Sensitive Lens gives visitors the extraordinary opportunity to look at his photographs from uncommon points of view and explore the gallery’s collection in a more contemporary light.
2019 is the thirtieth anniversary of Robert Mapplethorpe’s death and this initiative, organised in collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation of New York, is part of a series of exhibitions dedicated to this artist, including a large retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and one at the Museo Madre in Naples, Italy, uniquely focused on the intimate performative matrix of his photography.
A brochure on the exhibition will be provided, written by the curator, Flaminia Gennari Santori. A series of activities have also been scheduled: a discussion about Mapplethorpe with the curator, Jonathan K. Nelson, a professor from Syracuse University in Florence and Andrea Viliani, director of the Museo Madre in Naples (Thursday, 15 May 2019); free guided tours (upon purchasing a ticket to visit the museum) every Thursday at 5 p.m.; workshops for children ages 5 to 12 every Saturday at 5 p.m., except June 29 (free for participants, tickets for the two adults accompanying the child are 6 euros).
On three Sundays — 26 May, 9 and 23 June at 4:30 p.m. — some of the works on display will be part of the Museo Adagio initiative, a “slow art” project aimed at encouraging visitors to slowly savour, contemplate and share the exhibition by looking at these masterpieces with greater attention and awareness.

Curated by Flaminia Gennari Santori

1 - 2. Allestimento, foto di Alberto Novelli;
3. Robert Mapplethorpe, Marcus Leatherdale, 1978. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.


Marco L.