Robert Mapplethorpe

American photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe, is most noted for his large scale portraits of celebrities, flowers, female and male nudes. 

Born in Queens, New York City, in 1946, Mapplethorpe studied graphic arts at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he developed an interest in collage using his own photographs. In the early 1970s he quickly became noted for his work with polaroids, taking pictures of his wide circle of friends, including famous artists, musicians, pornstars, and socialites.

Mapplethorpe attended the Documenta in Kassel in 1977 and 1982 and since his death in 1989 due to his illness with AIDS, his work has been shown worldwide, including the FRAC, Paris (2003), the Guggenheim, New York (2005), as well as the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2004), the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2004), the Reina Sofia, Madrid (2006), the National Museum, Stockholm (2007), the P.S.1 in New York (2006; 2008),  and Tate Modern in London (2008). Recently, in spring 2014, works by Mapplethorpe were on view at the Grand Palais and the Musée Rodin in Paris.

Shortly before his death, Mapplethorpe established The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, which has been promoting his and other photography and funding medical research in the fight against HIV/AIDS ever since.


Recent and upcoming exhibitions

Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands
Robert Mapplethorpe – a perfectionist
Solo exhibition
April 22 — August 27, 2017

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France
Solo exhibition
March 10 — April 29, 2017

Galleria Franco Noero, Turin, Italy
Solo exhibition
November 2, 2016 — February 11, 2017

Espacio artkunstarte - Galería Arnés y Röpke, Madrid, Spain
Loteria - Selected works from the r/e collection
Group exhibition
September 15, 2016 — February 17, 2017

Musée des Beaux-Arts Montréal, Montréal, Canada
Focus: Perfection
Solo exhibition
September 10, 2016 — January 22, 2017

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austria
Solo exhibition
August 30 — November 19, 2016

Galleri Brandstrup, Oslo, Norway
Solo exhibition
March 31 — April 28, 2016

LACMA, Los Angeles, CA, USA
The Perfect Medium
Solo exhibition
March 20 — July 31, 2016

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA, USA
The Perfect Medium
Solo exhibition
March 15 — July 31, 2016

Munchmuseet, Oslo, Norway
Mapplethorpe + Munch
February 6 — May 29, 2016

The Bowes Museum, Durham, England
The Magic in the Muse
Solo exhibition
November 28, 2015 — April 24, 2016

Selected publications

Robert Mapplethorpe: Photographs
Published by: c/o Berlin and The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, 2011

Sylvia Wolf
Polaroids: Mapplethorpe
Published by: Prestel Publishing, 2007
ISBN: 978-3791338354

Robert F. Hartley
Robert Mapplethorpe
Published by: National Galleries of Scotland, 2006
ISBN: 978-1903278932

Jennifer Blessing (et al.)
Robert Mapplethorpe and The Classical Tradition
Published by: Guggenheim Museum, 2004
ISBN: 978-0892073139

Information on shows at the gallery

Artist homepage