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Robert Mapplethorpe at Clydebank Museum and Art Gallery

An exhibition of stunning photographs by American artist Robert Mapplethorpe has recently opened at Clydebank Museum and Art Gallery.

28 February to 23 May 2015: ARTIST ROOMS On Tour

Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–89) is widely regarded as one of the most important photographers of the late twentieth century. He established his reputation in the 1970s and 1980s with a body of work that is both powerful and provocative.

The images Mapplethorpe created were often considered controversial, but his intention was not to shock; rather, he sought to celebrate his subject matter, producing intimate portraits and beautifully observed still lifes.

Mapplethorpe is recognised for the technical and formal qualities of his carefully composed photographs, which capture the world with directness and honesty. As he stated in 1988: “I don’t like that particular word ‘shocking.’ I’m looking for the unexpected. I’m looking for things I’ve never seen before…”

Clydebank Museum and Art Gallery has been selected as one of only six venues in Scotland to participate in the 2015 ARTIST ROOMS On Tour programme, hosting this free exhibition.

The ARTIST ROOMS collection of Mapplethorpe photographs is one of the largest in the world. The exhibition will showcase a series of iconic self-portraits - a concentration unique to ARTIST ROOMS - including two remarkable new additions to the collection which will be on show for the first time outside Tate Modern.

Portraiture was central to Mapplethorpe’s creative output and the photographs he took of his contemporaries from the wider New York art scene in the 1980s can now be viewed as a chronicle of the city’s cultural life.

On show in Clydebank will be a selection of portraits of influential artists, writers and musicians including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, and one of his closest companions, poet and singer Patti Smith. (featured in header photograph).

The works on display are taken from ARTIST ROOMS, an inspirational collection of modern and contemporary art acquired for the nation by National Galleries of Scotland and Tate through the generosity of Anthony d'Offay with additional support from funders, including the Art Fund.

The ARTIST ROOMS tour programme, now in its seventh year, is showing at 17 museums and galleries across the UK in 2015. The tour is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and through the continued support of the Art Fund and, in Scotland, with support from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

West Dunbartonshire Council’s Convener of Educational Services, Councillor Michelle McGinty said: “Bringing work from an artist as well-known as Robert Mapplethorpe to Clydebank is fantastic for West Dunbartonshire. This exhibition is sure to attract visitors from all over Scotland and I look forward to welcoming them to the area.”

For information about ARTIST ROOMS On Tour please visit

For further information about the touring programme and to see the full ARTIST ROOMS collection visit: , and




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