“Robert Mapplethorpe: Photographs from The Kinsey Institute Collection” will go on display Oct.10 through Nov. 22 at Indiana University’s Grunwald Gallery. Presented jointly by the Grunwald Gallery and The Kinsey Institute, the exhibition marks the first time this group of photographs has been publicly shown.
Mapplethorpe is considered by art historians to be one of the most significant artists of the 20th century. His striking black-and-white photographs capture a classical beauty that is both formal and raw.
In 2011, The Kinsey Institute received a gift of 30 prints from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. These photographs dating from 1976 to 1985 are excellent examples of Mapplethorpe’s more challenging work. Some of the gelatin silver prints are nude or clothed portraits, while others contain explicit homosexual and heterosexual imagery from the New York S&M scene.
At the time of the gift, foundation president Michael Stout described the works as some of the artist’s “most memorable and most difficult.” The Kinsey Institute was chosen to receive this group of photographs because of its scholarly mission and IU’s storied record of academic freedom, Stout said.