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OVER A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING EROTIC ART.
March 13 - September 13, 2015
Helsinki, Finland

Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
presents:

ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE

Kiasma - ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE
TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 1991), Portrait of Robert Mapplethorpe , 1979, Pen and ink on paper, 21.25 x 28.00, 1979 Tom of Finland Foundation.

The American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989) lived a life of passion in the New York underground and rock scenes in the 1970s and ’80s. That passion also made its way into his art.

Consisting of more than 250 works, the retrospective exhibition in the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma offers a broad overview of the key periods of Mapplethorpe’s career. In their aspiration for perfection, Mapplethorpe’s pictures blend beauty and eroticism with pain, pleasure and death. Mapplethorpe also photographed his celebrity friends such as Patti Smith, Andy Warhol and Richard Gere. Although solidly anchored in their time, his photographs are also universal and topical even today.

Arriving from Paris to Helsinki, the high-profile exhibition is a unique opportunity to learn about the art and life of one of the most important photographic artists of our time. The exhibition is curated by Jérôme Neutres from Paris with Director Pirkko Siitari and Chief Curator Marja Sakari from Kiasma.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Self-Portrait, 1975. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.
ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE, Self-Portrait, 1975. Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

Robert Mapplethorpe, “America’s own Tom of Finland”

In Finland, the works of Mapplethorpe bring to mind our national treasure Tom of Finland, who also depicted gay culture in the 1970s and ’80s. The Kiasma exhibition does in fact contain drawings by Tom of Finland and also a portrait of Tom of Finland (alias Touko Laaksonen). The men met each other in the late 1970s, when several exhibitions of Laaksonen’s work were being done in the United States. They admired each others’ works: Mapplethorpe owned several of Laaksonen’s drawings, and Laaksonen drew Mapplethorpe’s portrait.

Aino Frilander, Helsingin Sanomat

Photograph of Robert Mapplethorpe by Touko Laaksonen
Photograph of Robert Mapplethorpe by Touko Laaksonen
Opening Night
Opening night.

Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
March 13, 2015 - September 13, 2015
Mannerheiminaukio 2, FIN-00100, Helsinki, Finland  Map
Tel +358 (0)294 500 501
Kisama Website

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MALE MUSE
"Whenever I was depressed or disgusted, I would feel him, that spirit inside, urging me back to living, back to drawing, I believe there is a lot to the world that can’t be seen or touched, and if you turn away from that — especially if you are an artist — you are avoiding an important part of life, maybe the very heart of it.” — Tom of Finland