Rona Sela ňářéú
Robert Mapplethorpe, Retrospective, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 1994 (Hebrew catalogue, curator: Germano Celant, Curator in Israel: Rona Sela)
Robert Mapplethorpe’s exhibition deserved to be shown in Tel Aviv a decade ago when he was at his peak. Being exhibited at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art at this time is important mainly from the historic-value aspect, as far as defining the unique and influential place that Mapplethorpe holds in the continuum of the history of art.

Mapplethorpe, who was active in New York from the beginning of the 1970s until his death in 1989, is one of the foremost artists who signified the dramatic change that took place then with regard to photography. In those same years photography established its status in the field of art, its influence on the different media became stronger and it moved from the margins to the center of the artistic discourse. During these exchanges photography formulated a new point of view and freed itself from traditional formulistic strategies, thereby breaking through its isolation and joining the post-modernist art debate. One of the goals undertaken by the photography department of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in planning exhibitions was to show these processes by way of the key figures that led them – the central artists who were active from the 70s until today (for example, Cindy Sherman’s exhibition that was shown in the summer of 1993). And, from this aspect as well, a visit to the exhibition might turn out to be especially valuable. Nevertheless, this does not say everything about Mapplethorpe’s contribution to the field of photography. The subjects of gender and the body, which from the early 70s he devoted a great part of his work to, are enjoying a renewed debate today. And therefore, the exhibition, which offers a penetrating and historic study of Mapplethorpe’s work, has significance for the art of today, and illuminates the development of American art in the last two decades.

The exhibition was possible with the generous cooperation of The estate of Robert Mapplethorpe 
robert mapplethorpe, catalogue cover 
Robert Mapplethorpe, catalogue cover 
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