– Highlights


Tatsuo Miyajima

03 Nov - 05 Mar

Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Dec


Primavera at 25: MCA Collection

19 Dec - 19 Mar

– Learning Events

Pop-Up Bar

Sakura Sundays

05 Mar, 3.00pm, Ground Floor: Outdoor Terrace


Contemporary Art Studio

09 Mar, 10.30am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning


Educators conference: 6-7 April

06 Apr, 6.00pm, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

– News from inside the MCA

Ode to typography: Interview with Will Lynes

Signwriter Will Lynes used traditional signwriting techniques to free-hand paint the text ‘Everything Else’ on this 17-metre long wall painting. Will muses on the emotive quality of typography and how he works. more

5 tips for applying for the MCA Zine Fair

Want to show your zine-work at the 2017 MCA Zine Fair? Here we share our tips for applying more

Louise Zhang's horror infused ARTBAR

Navigating the space between attractive and repulsive, Chinese-Australian artist Louise Zhang kicks off the ARTBAR year in suitable style with a night entitled ‘New Year’s Rot’. more

– Spotlights from the collection online

MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

The Program promotes Australian art globally, helping Australian artists reach new audiences.


Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


23 Feb 1995 to 30 Apr 1995

Guest Curator: Germano Celant

About the Exhibition

Robert Mapplethorpe’s high degree of visibility is in part due to the controversy that surrounded his work, reaching a crescendo following his death in 1989. However, in reality, the images which created this controversy – works depicting taboo aspects of sexuality – comprised a relatively small part of his monumental body of work.

This retrospective allowed Australian audiences to see the full thematic and technical range of Mapplethorpe’s oeuvre, for the first time. The curator, Germano Celant, then of the Guggenheim Museum, selected 209 works from Mapplethorpe’s prolific career, of which approximately 100 were silver gelatin prints, and the rest were works in other media including platinum prints on paper, silk and canvas.

Mapplethorpe did not train as a photographer, however he became fascinated with the history of photography and with its technical potential. He immersed himself in a study of works by the masters of the medium, including Edward Weston, Julia Margaret Cameron, Cecil Beaton and others, and explored printing techniques including colour Polaroid, photogravure, platinum prints on paper and on linen, Cibachromes and dye-transfer processes.

Mapplethorpe’s unique vision was an amalgam of influences, innovations and a personal quality that the artist himself was at a loss to describe: ‘I don’t understand the way my pictures are. It’s all about the relationship I have with the subject that’s unique to me. Taking a picture and sexuality are parallels. They’re both unknowns. And that’s what excites me most.’

Exhibition courtesy of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York

Tour Itinerary

Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark: 8 February – 24 May 1992
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany: 30 June – 20 August 1992
Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, Italy: 30 August 1992 – 3 January 1993
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden: 30 January – 21 March 1993
Turun Taidemuseo, Turku, Finland: 7 April – 31 May 1993
Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium: 5 June 1 August 1993
Museo Pecci, Prato, Italy: 25 September 1993 – 7 January 1994
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel: 27 January – 5 April 1994
Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain: 21 April – 19 June 1994
KunstHausWien, Vienna, Austria: 8 September 1994 – 29 January 1995