William Burroughs
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Reference URL

William Burroughs 1980
  • Artist Rooms
William Burroughs was a novelist, a guru and one of America’s underground heroes. His greatest novel, ‘The Naked Lunch’ (first published in France in 1959) was banned on the grounds of obscenity until, in a groundbreaking trial in 1966, it was declared not obscene. By 1980, when this photograph was taken, Burroughs was a countercultural giant. Mapplethorpe portrays him as a secular saint in prayer. Almost half the composition is taken up by Burroughs’s dark jacket, which thereby throws into sharp relief his head and clasped hands.

Details

  • Acc. No. AR00211
  • Medium Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
  • Size 34.10 x 34.10 cm (framed: 50.80 x 40.60 cm)
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008