NSFW: A peek at the Kinsey's Mapplethorpe shows 

click to enlarge Self Portrait, 1980. ©The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission. Courtesy of The Kinsey Institute®.
  • Self Portrait, 1980. ©The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission. Courtesy of The Kinsey Institute®.

From Oct. 10 to Nov. 22, IU's Grunwald Gallery, in partnership with the Kinsey Institute, will present 30 of Robert Mapplethorpe's "most memorable and most difficult" photographs alongside work by the artist's contemporaries and/or influences. That "memorable and difficult" quote comes from the president of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, which donated the 30 photos, taken between 1976 and 1985, to the Kinsey Institute in 2011. The collection includes well-known Mapplethorpe images such as "Embrace" and "Snakeman," as well as lesser-seen work, including "three heterosexual images," according to the Kinsey Institute's Catherine Johnson-Roehr. (Note that the self-portrait above is not included in the show, but the Kinsey offered it to us for promo purposes — and it's too striking not to include in this post, no?)

The show comes 25 years after Mapplethorpe became a household name during Senator Jesse Helms's assault on federal arts funding. Or, if you'd prefer, 24 years after the director of Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Center was tried and acquitted on charges of promoting obscenity by exhibiting Mapplethorpe's work. 

Robert Mapplethorpe: Photographs from The Kinsey Institute Collection will run in conjunction with Beyond Mapplethorpe: Selections from The Kinsey Institute, featuring 20-plus photos by Tom Bianchi, George Platt Lynes, Len Prince, Bettina Rheims, Herb Ritts and Arthur Tress, among others.


Here are three more photos from the Mapplethorpe show, plus a few from the Beyond Mapplethorpe show. (Disclaimer: Some subjects aren't fully clothed.)

click to enlarge Embrace, 1982. ©The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission. Courtesy of The Kinsey Institute®.
  • Embrace, 1982. ©The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission. Courtesy of The Kinsey Institute®.


click to enlarge Frank Diaz, 1980. ©The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission. Courtesy of The Kinsey Institute®.
  • Frank Diaz, 1980. ©The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission. Courtesy of The Kinsey Institute®.


click to enlarge Snakeman, 1981. ©The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission. Courtesy of The Kinsey Institute®.
  • Snakeman, 1981. ©The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission. Courtesy of The Kinsey Institute®.


Len Prince, Untitled, n.d. © Len Prince 2014.
  • Len Prince, Untitled, n.d. © Len Prince 2014.


George Platt Lynes, Male nudes, 1955. © Estate of George Platt Lynes.
  • George Platt Lynes, Male nudes, 1955. © Estate of George Platt Lynes.


Arthur Tress, Boot Fantasy, NY, 1979. © Arthur Tress 2014.
  • Arthur Tress, Boot Fantasy, NY, 1979. © Arthur Tress 2014.

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