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The Variations

Edward Mapplethorpe

May 12 – June 18, 2011

Variation No. 22, 2011
Variation No. 27 (diptych), 2011
Variation No. 24, 2011
Variation No. 21, 2011
Variation No. 28 (triptych), 2011
Variation No. 25, 2011
Variation No. 11, 2011
Variation No. 7, 2011
Variation No. 10, 2011
Variation No. 3, 2011
Variation No. 2, 2011
Variation No. 1, 2011

Foley Gallery is pleased to announce The Variations, an exhibition of new works by Edward Mapplethorpe that capture the fluidity of gestural abstraction with non-camera photographic techniques.


In this dynamic series Mapplethorpe has essentially done away with both the camera and the darkroom. The removal of these components, essential to traditional photographic processes, daringly pushes the boundaries of what defines a photographic work of art. Through both deliberate and reflexive applications of line, Mapplethorpe achieves unique gelatin silver print images rich in a myriad of color tonalities. At once both organic and highly technical, the immediacy of Mapplethorpe’s densely layered abstractions call to mind the action paintings of Jackson Pollock.

The unique chemical process Mapplethorpe utilizes translates to color by light scattering whereby colorless chemicals are applied onto traditional black and white photographic paper to achieve his dynamic compositions. Time and chance elements become important aspects of the process.

The Variations were in part inspired by Mapplethorpe’s recent fascination with the classical pianist Glenn Gould and his iconoclastic re-interpretation of J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Subsequently, many of the compositions in The Variations take their inspiration directly from Gould’s deliberate arrangement of Bach’s venerated masterpiece.

The works included in the exhibition will range from 24 x 20 inches to 42 x 64 inches in size.

Edward Mapplethorpe was born in Queens, NY in 1960 and currently lives and works in New York. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally.

The exhibition will run from May 12th through June 18th. There will be an opening reception on May 12th from 6 – 8 pm.

For more information or to request images, please contact the gallery at 212.244.9081 or via e-mail at