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Renowned artist's work on display at USF

By MARY ANN MARGER

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 23, 2001


photoRobert Mapplethorpe's figure in Untitled #1 takes on the appearance of bronze sculpture, not surprising in light of the fact that the artist studied sculpture first, switching to photography only after he purchased a camera to document his efforts. His art, unlike documentary photography, has been described as "stark formalism."

The work is a photogravure, in which photographic imagery is printed as an etching. Though the process has been around for decades, Mapplethorpe was able to use it inventively, with the aid of master printers at Graphicstudio at the University of South Florida. Graphicstudio is a renowned research-oriented workshop that invites leading artists to explore new ways of making editionable artworks. Mapplethorpe produced it there in 1986.

The work is on display at Graphicstudio in a show that runs weekdays through Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Graphicstudio is at 3702 Spectrum Blvd. on the USF campus in Tampa. Free. (813) 974-3503.

-- MARY ANN MARGER, Times Art Critic

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