The Getty Center
March 15–July 31, 2016
Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946–1989) is among the most influential visual artists of the late twentieth century. This major retrospective exhibition reexamines the arc of his photographic work from its humble beginnings in the early 1970s to the culture wars of the 1990s. Drawn from the landmark acquisition made in 2011 from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, the exhibition mixes Mapplethorpe's most iconic images with lesser-known photographs. Two complementary presentations, one at the J. Paul Getty Museum and another at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, are designed to highlight different aspects of the artist’s complex personality.
March 15–July 31, 2016
In 1973, with the assistance of his lover Robert Mapplethorpe, Samuel J. Wagstaff Jr. (American, 1921–1987) came to realize that photography was an underappreciated and undervalued art form. Over the next decade, Wagstaff assembled one of the most important private collections of photographs in the world. In 1984 he sold it to the J. Paul Getty Museum, where it became part of a group of major acquisitions that formed the Department of Photographs. This three-gallery exhibition presents a selection of Wagstaff’s collection, encompassing both masterpieces of the medium and obscure works that deserve attention.
April 5–August 28, 2016
Electrical innovations have radically transformed the rhythm of our days and our experience of darkness. Photographers have been attentive to such changes, capturing both excitement and concern about the electrical forces that energize our lives. Drawn from the Getty Museum’s permanent collection, this exhibition highlights historic photographs that showcase the allure of artificial illumination as well as recent photographs that express unease about life tethered to the power grid.
May 7–September 4, 2016
The Mogao caves, located near the town of Dunhuang in the Gobi Desert of northwest China, comprise some 500 decorated Buddhist cave temples dating from the 4th to the 14th century. Filled with exquisite wall paintings and sculptures, the caves bear witness to the intense religious, artistic, and cultural exchanges along the Silk Road, the trade routes linking East and West. Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China's Silk Road features numerous objects originally from the site—such as paintings and manuscripts that have rarely, if ever, traveled to the United States, as well as three spectacular full-size cave replicas. The exhibition celebrates more than 25 years of collaboration between the Getty Conservation Institute and the Dunhuang Academy to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
June 21–September 11, 2016
Though his reputation was eclipsed in the early twentieth century with the triumph of Impressionism, Théodore Rousseau (1812–1867) was one of the giants of French landscape in the second half of the nineteenth century, and his work was avidly collected for staggering sums across Europe and North America. Bringing together about seventy-five paintings and drawings, this international loan exhibition explores the astonishing technical and stylistic variety of his work, revealing him to be one of the most exciting, experimental, and affecting artists of his day.
The Getty Villa
March 30–September 12, 2016
Roman decor was unique for the elaborate mosaic floors that transformed entire rooms into spectacular settings of vibrant color, figural imagery, and geometric design. Scenes from mythology, daily life, the natural world, and spectacles in the arena enlivened interior spaces and reflected the cultural ambitions of wealthy patrons. Drawn primarily from the Getty Museum's collection, this exhibition presents the artistry of mosaics as well as the contexts of their discovery across Rome's expanding empire—from its center in Italy to provinces in North Africa, southern Gaul, and ancient Syria.