Memento Mori: Robert Mapplethorpe Photographs from the Peter Marino Collection on view through April 9th

Jan. 2017

March 14 –  April 9, 2017 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Chanel Nexus Hall, Ginza Bldg. 4F, 5-3 Ginza, 3-Chome, Chuo-ku Tokyo

 Presented  by CHANEL K.K

Peter Marino Architect announces the opening of MEMENTO MORI from March 14 – April 9, 2017 hosted by Chanel K.K. at CHANEL NEXUS HALL in Tokyo. The show will feature Robert Mapplethorpe photographs from Marino’s extensive personal collection.

This is the first time since 2002 that such a range of the artist’s multi-faceted oeuvre has been on display to the public in Japan, with more than 90 still lifes, flowers, nudes and portraits included in the show.

Marino, who curated and designed the exhibition, divided NEXUS HALL into three smaller, separate galleries. (He also designed the CHANEL Ginza Building in 2004 which houses NEXUS HALL.) Works were grouped to intensify in subject matter as one progresses through the galleries in an investigation of the duality of the artist’s complex oeuvre. The formal classicism of architectural bodies, still lifes and statuary give way to strikingly blunt treatments of more provocative and sometimes controversial subjects, all of which examine themes of natural and physical beauty, and restraint and subversion.

The first two galleries feature black wood-framed images of classical sculptures, close-ups of body parts and draped figures set within white walls and white floors, while the third gallery ends the show with an all-black space featuring more provocative works juxtaposed with a selection of Mapplethorpe flowers – all set against black, leather-like walls.

The show’s somewhat ironic title, Memento Mori, (a Latin phrase that is often visually represented by an artistic or symbolic reminder of mortality) prompts us to think of the ephemeral nature of Mapplethorpe’s subject matter and his untimely death, despite his enduring body of work and his legacy that helped define an era with its aesthetic, social and political contributions. The opening in Japan is part of a worldwide appreciation of the artist that includes a series of guest-curated Mapplethorpe exhibitions (ongoing since 2003, the most recent one, XYZ, curated by Marino in January 2016 at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris) and concurrent retrospectives at the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) and Getty museums in California, USA from March-July 2016. Also this year, the American television network HBO premiered the Emmy-nominated documentary Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, which includes Marino as one of the most significant Mapplethorpe collectors in the world.

A press preview followed by a special appearance of Peter Marino will be held Monday, March 13, 2017, at Chanel Nexus Hall in Tokyo from 4:30 – 5:45 p.m. Pre-registration is necessary. If interested, please apply by email to

Following the CHANEL NEXUS HALL show, MEMENTO MORI will travel to Kyoto as part of the Kyotographie International Photography Festival April 15 – May 14, 2017. 

Images © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.