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Mapplethorpe, Robert ; Ashbery, John

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ISBN 10: 0679408053 / ISBN 13: 9780679408055
Published by Random House, New York, 1996
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Owl & Company Bookshop (Calvello Books) (Oakland, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Folio in black and pink DJ and same paper backed, illus original slipcase; 173 p. : chiefly photos (some color.) ; 32 cm. Essay by John Ashbery ; edited and designed by Mark Holborn and Dimitri Levas. || Still-life photography. Photography of plants. Flowers -- Pictorial works. Pflanzenphotographie Bildband ; Mapplethorpe, Robert. Fine in fine DJ in fine to near fine(+) slipcase with one tiny ding. A lovely copy. First edition, first printing (full Random House style number line). Bookseller Inventory # 18113

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Pistils

Publisher: Random House, New York

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Robert Mapplethorpe began taking photographs in the 1970s with a Polaroid camera given to him by a friend. When he died in 1989 of AIDS, at the age of forty-two, he was considered one of the most important photographers of his generation, having gained a reputation as the avatar of a rigorous formalism stunningly wed to graphic and sometimes controversial subject matter.

Most of Robert Mapplethorpe's days began in the early afternoon, often by photographing flowers. Mapplethorpe used them to help focus his vision, centering and warming up for his commercial portrait work. The flowers also helped him to effect the transition to the more daring work, which he executed late at night.

Pistils reproduces 120 of these ravishing images of flowers, many of which have never been published. The full range of Mapplethorpe's virtuosity is displayed here--early Polaroids: exacting still lifes in black-and-white and color; and extremely rare, toned gravure prints. Not since Georgia O'Keeffe has an artist looked at flowers with as developed an eye as Robert Mapplethorpe. In them he discovered sex, death, redemption, and, always, beauty. These photographs go far beyond decorative allure to place him firmly in the pantheon of the photographic masters.

About the Author:

Robert Mapplethorpe was born in Queens, New York in 1946. He studied at the Pratt Institute, working primarily in printmaking and as a filmmaker. He began to take photographs, at first mainly Polaroids, while living with the singer Patti Smith in the Chelsea Hotel. Mapplethorpe had his first one-man exhibition in New York in 1976. He became known for his portraits of friends and acquaintances, among them artists, composers, architects, socialites, stars of pornographic films, and members of the homosexual underground. His photographs of flowers and of nude black men were also widely praised. In 1988 the Whitney Museum of American Art mounted the first major retrospective of Mapplethorpe's work. Mapplethorpe died the following year, and an exhibition of his photographs organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia led to debate over public support of the arts.

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