Robert Longo

American, born 1953

5,433 followers

Robert Longo

American, born 1953

5,433 followers

Robert Longo burst onto the New York art scene as a brash 25-year-old with “Men in the Cities,” his iconic 1983 large-scale charcoal drawings of businessmen posing in uncanny contortions. “I always imagine that I want to make art that is going to kill you,” he said in 1984. “Whether it’s going to do it visually or physically, I’ll take either way.” Longo works and reworks his charcoal into thick-textured surfaces, giving his velvety drawings deep, blackened expanses and sharply contrasting whites; his forms are at once representational and softly elusive. Having been fascinated with popular culture as a child, Longo centers his practice on transposing images and the resulting transformation of meaning, linking him with the Pictures Generation. “An artist should know art history,” he says. “Shock value only lasts so long.” His recent works have included series depicting women in burkas, ocean waves, nuclear explosions, views of Sigmund Freud’s apartment, and zoo animals in cages.

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Selected career achievements
blue chip status
Blue chip
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
auction
High auction record
$2m, Christie's, 2013
user
Solo show at a major institution
MCA Chicago
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 12 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 3 more
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