The retrospective of Robert Mapplethorpe's work at Forma is a must-see for any of you who are in Milan. I cannot stress how brilliant this exhibition was, and thoroughly recommend a visit, even more so as it finishes on the 15th of April.
A 178 photographs cover Robert Mapplethorpe's career, providing an idea of the breadth and wide spectrum of his work: from his first series portraying the S&M milieu of New York, to his self-portraits. As well as countless nude studies (including some of his more controversial erotic photography), the retrospective includes his iconic flowers, his Lisa Lyon series(the first female body builder) as well as his perhaps more famous portraits of artists of the time (namely Warhol, Patti Smith and Grace Jones, to name but a few).
No coffee-table book, no matter how big, can replicate the insight this retrospective provides... an hour face to face with a full size Mapplethorpe polaroid in a semi-deserted gallery was priceless.
Photos from Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation - for an idea of his work, have a peek.