Robert Mapplethorpe, ‘Untitled (Black Paper Bag)’, circa 1971, Sotheby's

Robert Mapplethorpe: Objects of Desire, Important Works from the Collection of David Croland

Framed, a Paul Morris Gallery, New York, label on the reverse.

Overall 17 by 7 5/8 in. (43.2 by 20 cm.)

From the Catalogue:
Much of Mapplethorpe’s work from the late 1960s and early 1970s consists of assemblages of appropriated photomechanical imagery. Using found imagery from pornographic magazines that he manipulated and altered, Mapplethorpe explored religion, eroticism, homosexuality, and the quest for classic beauty, themes that he would continue to examine throughout his career in photography.
—Courtesy of Sotheby's

Acquired from the photographer, circa 1971

About Robert Mapplethorpe

In the 1970s, Robert Mapplethorpe and musician, poet, and artist Patti Smith lived together in New York’s infamous Chelsea Hotel where he started shooting Polaroids to use in his collages. Drawn to photography, Mapplethorpe got a Hasselblad medium-format camera and began taking pictures of his friends and acquaintances—artists, musicians, socialites, pornographic film stars, and members of the gay S & M underground. Despite his shocking content, Mapplethorpe was a formalist, interested in composition, color, texture, balance, and, most of all, beauty. In the 1980s, he concentrated on studio photography, specifically nudes, flowers, and formal portraits that are considerably more refined than his earlier work. After Mapplethorpe died from an AIDS-related illness, his work precipitated national controversy when it was included in “The Perfect Moment,” a traveling exhibition funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

American, 1946-1989, Queens, New York, based in New York, New York