Portraits By One Of 20th Century's Greatest Photographers

ARTIST ROOMS On Tour with The Art Fund supported by The Scottish Goverment is a unique scheme to bring one of the largest and most imaginative acquisitions of post-war and contemporary art to audiences across Britain. Inverness Museum and Art Gallery is delighted to announce the opening of an exhibition of the work of the American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, presented by The Highland Council.  ARTIST ROOMS is being shared with galleries and museums throughout the UK thanks to the support of The Art Fund charity and, within Scotland, The Scottish Government

An exhibition of portraits by Robert Mapplethorpe, including images of many of the most influential artists, writers and musicians of his day, including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Patti Smith, alongside several iconic self portraits will go on show at Inverness Museum & Art Gallery from 25 April – 27 June 2009.

The American artist Robert Mapplethorpe was one of the most famous photographers of the 20th century. He pushed the boundaries of his medium with both his subject matter and the innovative techniques he employed. His work was often considered controversial but Mapplethorpe constantly tested the right to individual freedom of expression and his work holds a significant place in the history of artistic struggle to depict the world as it is with honesty and truth.

Speaking at the launch, Convener of The Highland Council, Sandy Park said:  “It is a great privilege that Inverness has been chosen as one of the venues and reflects the growing reputation the Highlands has as a cultural hotspot. To be part of such a unique collaboration is very exciting and I hope as many people as possible take this opportunity to come and look at the rarely seen collection of contemporary photographs.  I know our staff have been greatly looking forward to hosting this exhibition and a lot of workshops and events, particularly for young people, will be taking place between now and the end of June.”

Minister for Culture Michael Russell said: “ARTIST ROOMS has put Scotland on the map in terms of modern and contemporary art and opened the doors for generations to come.  I am pleased that the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition will visit Inverness, bringing some of his greatest work to people in the Highlands.  One of ARTIST ROOMS’ defining features is its commitment to involve audiences across the country, taking internationally acclaimed art to our towns and cities – I am sure this collection will be enjoyed by many in Inverness.”

David Barrie, Director of The Art Fund, said: ““The Art Fund's purpose is to give people all over the UK the chance to encounter great works of art of every kind. Our support of this exhibition to Inverness allows us to do just that – and I am sure that many people in the Inverness area will be inspired and challenged by Robert Mapplethorpe’s extraordinary work.”

ARTIST ROOMS is jointly owned and managed by National Galleries of Scotland and Tate on behalf of the nation. It has materially strengthened Tate’s ability to represent some of the most important art of the latter half of the 20th century, and helps establish Scotland as a world-class destination for contemporary art.

ARTIST ROOMS has been created through one of the largest and most imaginative gifts of art ever made to museums in Britain. Acquired for the nation in February 200, the gift was made by Anthony d’Offay, with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), The Art Fund and the Scottish and British Governments. The collection of 725 works, representing one of the most important holdings of post-war and contemporary international art in private hands, was assembled by Anthony d’Offay, whose London galleries played a key role in the promotion and understanding of 20th century art in the UK over a period of more than 30 years.

Throughout 2009, 18 museums and galleries across the UK will be showing over 30 ARTIST ROOMS. This is the first time a national collection has been shared and shown simultaneously across the UK, and has only been made possible through the exceptional generosity of the independent charity The Art Fund and, in Scotland, of The Scottish Government.

Anthony d’Offay’s guiding principle for the creation of ARTIST ROOMS is the concept of individual rooms devoted to particular artists. They have been assembled so that the work of important post-war artists can be seen and appreciated in depth. The primary aim is to create a new national resource of contemporary art that will strengthen displays and create exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the UK so as to inspire new audiences, especially of young people.

Inverness is one of four venues in Scotland outside Edinburgh to host part of this major new contemporary art collection.

The Robert Mapplethorpe ‘Portraits’ exhibition will run from 25th April – 27June 2009 at Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, Castle Wynd, Inverness IV2 3EB, opening  Monday to – Saturday, 10am – 5pm.


28 Apr 2009