Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit at the Grand Palais

Photography lovers, here is an exhibition you should not miss while you are staying in Paris ! From March 26th to July 13th, the Grand Palais is paying tribute to Robert Mapplethorpe. As an unforgetable figure of the art renewal in the New York of the seventies and eighties, the american photographer who is well known for his sulphurous reputation is one of the great masters of art photography. This exhibition (organized with the collaboration of the famous Mapplethorpe foundation of New York) presents over 200 of the photographer's pieces : nudes, portraits and still lives, following the blossoming of his career from the senventies to his death in 1989.


When thinking of Mapplethorpe's work, the first word that comes to mind is eroticism. With a peculiar and innovative approach on nude art, the artist developped a style that was both sensual and disturbing, using the camera as the media that conveyed a frontal desiring gaze at the models' bodies. At the time, his work was considered even more scandalous because a large part of his models were men. As a homosexual, Robert Mapplethorpe was indeed one of the pioneers of the erotization of the male body through photography. His work has also been thought of as disturbing because it went alongside a sulphurous and « borderline » lifestyle that he shared with artists such as William Burroughs or Andy Warhol, and that makes him one of the figureheads of the USA undergoing a sexual revolution.


However, rather than to exploit the sole erotic power of Robert Mapplethorpe's pieces, the Grand Palais succeeds in opening the door to a new way of looking at his work, showing its less obvious classical aspect, through an approach of the body and its aesthetic perfection that reminds a lot of sculpture. So he said « I see things as sculptures, as shapes that occupy space ». Beyond eroticism, this exhibition will allow its visitors to discover (or re-discover) an attention to details that is in fact very reminiscent of the classical tradition in Robert Mapplethorpe's work.


Practical information


Schedules :

  • Monday : 10 a.m – 8 p.m

  • Wednesday : 10 a.m – 10 p.m

  • Thursday : 10 a.m – 10 p.m

  • Friday : 10 a.m – 10 p.m

  • Saturday : 10 a.m – 10 p.m

  • Sunday : 10 a.m – 8 p.m


Ratings :

  • Full price : 12 €

  • Concession price : 9 € (16 to 25 years old)

  • Group : 33€ (4 people including 2 between 16 and 25 years old)

  • Combined ticket Mapplethorpe / Rodin : 16€


How to go from Hôtel du Danube ?

(approximated time : 25mn)

  • Walk to Saint-Germain-des-Prés metro station (take a left when you get out of the hotel, then second street on the right)

  • Take metro line 4 in the direction of Porte de Clignancourt

  • Change in Châtelet for metro line 1 in the direction of La Défense

  • Get out at Champs Élysées – Clémenceau


If you want more :

The Rodin Museum is currently hosting a sculpture and photography exhibit that connects Robert Mapplethorpe's work with the one of sculptor Auguste Rodin. The exhibit will be ongoing until September 21st 2014. It is possible to buy a combined ticket for both exhibits (see above).