June 28, 1989 |
A controversial Robert Mapplethorpe photography exhibit canceled by the Corcoran Gallery of Art has been booked into the Washington Project for the Arts July 21 through Aug. 13, pending resolution of final details. Corcoran officials pulled the exhibit, which includes sadomasochistic and sexual images, to avoid exacerbating a congressional battle over National Endowment for the Arts funding. WPA Director Jock Reynolds is not worried about showing "Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment."
August 31, 1989 |
Artists contributing to two exhibits scheduled to appear at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington this season have withdrawn their work because the museum canceled an exhibit by photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, a gallery spokeswoman said Wednesday. The two exhibits were designed to survey trends in contemporary art. A third, much larger exhibit involving Soviet and American artists, also is endangered, officials said.
December 4, 1989
Jesse Jackson, viewing for the first time the controversial painting that depicts him as a blond, blue-eyed white man, said Sunday, "It's not the picture that's the insult. It's the reality behind the picture: That's the insult." The portrait, entitled "How Ya Like Me Now?" by artist David Hammons and part of the Washington Project for the Arts "The Blues Aesthetic" exhibition, was placed on a street corner Wednesday evening.
March 28, 1990 |
A museum planning to exhibit sexually explicit photographs by the late Robert Mapplethorpe has taken the unusual step of asking a court to decide whether they violate local obscenity laws. The private Contemporary Arts Center hopes to forestall the sheriff's threat to file obscenity charges against the museum when it opens the six-week exhibit April 6.
October 19, 2012 |
It's hard for museums to predict exactly when and where public controversy will strike. But in deciding to exhibit Robert Mapplethorpe's X, Y, Z portfolios, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was well aware that the X series contains some of the most controversial images in the history of American photography. These carefully composed shots of S&M role-playing or hard-core sex acts among gay New York men became a flash point in the culture wars of the early 1990s, leading to the indictment of a Cincinnati museum director on obscenity charges and triggering larger debates about the proper role of the National Endowment for the Arts.