Peter Marino designs major Mapplethorpe show

Opening in Tokyo in March, Memento Mori will feature more than 90 photographs curated by Marino from his own collection in a space he himself designed. It's the first Japanese show of Robert Mapplethorpe's work in 15 years
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Watermelon with Knife, 1985, by Robert Mapplethorpe. Gelatin Silver Print © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.
Watermelon with Knife, 1985, by Robert Mapplethorpe. Gelatin Silver Print © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Peter Marino is not only a world-renowned architect, but also an art collector of the first order, and sometimes he opens up his collection to stage some truly great shows. In 2010 the Wallace Collection hosted an exhibition of Marino’s Renaissance and Baroque bronzes including site specific installations and newly commissioned work.

In 2014 the Bass Museum in Miami put on display a large part of his contemporary art collection and last year Paris's Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac housed a show of Robert Mapplethorpe photographs guest curated by Marino who worked closely with the non-profit Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation in New York on the selection. Later this year Marino will exhibit 90 Mapplethorpe photos from his huge personal archive in a show called Memento Mori over in Japan.

 

Ken Moody & Robert Sherman, 1984, by Robert Mapplethorpe. Gelatin Silver Print © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.
Ken Moody & Robert Sherman, 1984, by Robert Mapplethorpe. Gelatin Silver Print © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

The show, which will be staged March 14 – April 9 at Chanel Nexus Hall in Tokyo will be the first wide-ranging show of the photographer’s work in Japan in fifteen years. Yet the exhibition is doubly notable, since Marino will not only curate and oversee the exhibition; he also designed the venue. Back in 2004, Marino’s architecture practice created the Chanel Ginza building, which houses Nexus Hall.

For the forthcoming show, Marino has divided the venue into three smaller galleries. The first two galleries feature black wood-framed images of classical sculptures, close-ups of body parts and draped figures set within white walls and white floors, while the third gallery ends the show with an all-black space featuring more provocative works juxtaposed with a selection of Mapplethorpe flowers – all set against black, leather-like walls. It sounds like a highly engaging display, yet Marino hopes visitors will think beyond the hall’s walls, and consider the late creator of these images.

 

Orchid, 1988 by Robert Mapplethorpe. Gelatin Silver Print © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.
Orchid, 1988 by Robert Mapplethorpe. Gelatin Silver Print © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

“The show’s somewhat ironic title, Memento Mori, (a Latin phrase that is often visually represented by an artistic or symbolic reminder of mortality) prompts us to think of the ephemeral nature of Mapplethorpe’s subject matter,” explains his office, "and his untimely death, despite his enduring body of work and his legacy that helped define an era with its aesthetic, social and political contributions.”

For greater insight into Robert Mapplethorpe’s life and work order a copy of Mapplethorpe Flora: The Complete Flowers, and for more on Peter Marino get our beautifully packaged Peter Marino Art Architecture.


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