Robert Mapplethorpe (b. New York, USA, 1946; d. New York, USA, 1989) studied for a B.F.A. from The Pratt Institute, before dropping out in 1969 to become one of the most iconic artists of the late twentieth century. Mounting over 50 solo exhibitions during his life, including numerous museum shows in the USA, Europe and Japan, he has, since his death, continued to be the subject of important retrospectives.

Recent solo exhibitions include: In Focus, Getty Museum, LA (2012); XYZ, LACMA, LA (2012); Fotografiska Museum, Stockholm (2011); and Night Work, curated by Scissors Sistors, Alison Jacques Gallery, London (2010). Significant group shows include: The Body as Protest, Albertine Museum, Vienna (2012); This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2012); and Exposed; Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera, Tate Modern (2011).

Mapplethorpe’s work is part of a many collections worldwide, including The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Australian National Gallery, Canberra; Whitney Museum of Modern Art, New York and Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.