robert mapplethorpe / kilian rüthemann march 30 – june 16, 2018
This exhibition features a recent sculpture by Kilian Rüthemann displayed alongside photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe, selected by Kilian Rüthemann in collaboration with The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.
Kilian Rüthemann is celebrated for his minimal and radical gestures that reveal the profundity of the materials he uses. For this exhibition, the artist repurposed a monumental tree trunk, which for the last 40 years served as a scratching post for the caged tigers at the Berlin Zoo. “Prey”, 2018, oak, 260 x 35 x 35 meters, the impressive timber, lacerated by the feline’s claws, represents extraordinary evidence of vitality bordering on violence. Meticulously prepared for exhibition, this wooden pole expresses signs of instinct, function and duress.
In affinity, Robert Mapplethorpe’s 10 gelatin silver prints, demonstrate themes of restraint, imposed by self or external force. The images’ low contrasts of tones allude to a different sensibility than that of the artist’s frequently stark visual vocabulary. Details of bodies in various states of strength and torsion are grouped with mundane portraits and still life -all bound by the camera frame.
This encounter, between Robert Mapplethorpe’s images of ensnared subjects and Kilian Rüthemann’s ready-made abstract monolith, radiates the rage and anxiety resulting from imprisonment. Both artists’ create emotional tension with minimalistic aesthetics, illustrating variations on the theme of power and captivity.
This marks the gallery’s second exhibition featuring the work of Robert Mapplethorpe.