Mollino | Mapplethorpe

23 June - 12 September 2014

Hamiltons’ Summer 2014 exhibition showcased a unique and important selection of photographs and furniture by renowned Italian designer Carlo Mollino and a collection of rare colour prints from Robert Mapplethorpe’s Flowers series.


The exhibition included rare Polaroids and C-prints from the fifties and sixties by Mollino, recognised as one of Italy’s most original creators, alongside two of Mollino’s most recognisable masterpieces of modern design, The Lattes Chair and The Copenhagen Chair.  Mollino never published or exhibited his Polaroids, discovered after his death, but rather considered them personal projects. Raw and untouched, invariably depicting the female form and photographed in his properties of his hometown, they were often pictured straddling his furniture designs. Included were two of these designs, as seen in the Polaroids.  These important chairs are extraordinary and exclusive in their own right; rarely dallying with the disciplines of design for mass production, Mollino was rigorous in his stride against the mainstream and devotion to unique works.


The show also included a selection of large format, colour works from Robert Mapplethorpe’s Flowers series; the most significant collection of signed dye-transfer Flowers prints to be exhibited in many years. Flowers draws particular attention to Mapplethorpe’s exquisite exploration of colour; the images – both bold and uncompromising – reveal an untouchable yet sensitive clarity of tone and composition.  Each is highly stylised and shot in a controlled studio environment; Mapplethorpe’s understanding of form and light, coupled with his meticulous compositions, create truly beautiful images that revel in the sensual quality of nature.