“These looked like they were printed yesterday—you could actually see the thickness of the inks,” says Longo of the works, which have never before been loaned for exhibition. “I tried to pick etchings that were more cinematic, or almost photographic in the action that happens in them.” He remembers first seeing Goya’s prints at the Prado
in Madrid, during a year he spent traveling through Europe before college, tracking down the originals of works pictured in Janson’s art history textbook.
His 50 selections from “The Disasters of War,” “The Caprices,” “The Follies,” and “Bullfighting” will be shown in an eight-sided chapel-like room devoted to Goya within the flow of the exhibition. In juxtaposition, Fowle—who handled the selection of more than 35 works by Longo from the last 15 years—chose his large-scale, apocalyptically beautiful image of an atomic explosion called Mike Test (Head of Goya) (2003). It is named for Goya’s painting The Colossus (1818–1825), of a giant looming in a stormy landscape, which always reminded Longo of a mushroom cloud. (It’s worth noting that the painting’s attribution to Goya has been reconsidered as of 2008.) Fowle is also including small graphite studies Longo made as homages to Goya’s A Procession of the Flagellants (1812–1814) and Saturn Devouring His Son (1820–1823).
Longo went to the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art to research Eisenstein’s sketches and storyboards for his films, which he first learned about through a structuralist filmmaker he met as a student at State University College, Buffalo, in the early 1970s. “Eisenstein’s films have such incredibly composed shots, done primarily from a lock-down camera,” says Longo.