Robert Longo, ‘Pressure on God’, 1983, Alpha 137 Gallery
Robert Longo, ‘Pressure on God’, 1983, Alpha 137 Gallery
Robert Longo, ‘Pressure on God’, 1983, Alpha 137 Gallery
Robert Longo, ‘Pressure on God’, 1983, Alpha 137 Gallery
Robert Longo, ‘Pressure on God’, 1983, Alpha 137 Gallery
Robert Longo, ‘Pressure on God’, 1983, Alpha 137 Gallery
Robert Longo, ‘Pressure on God’, 1983, Alpha 137 Gallery

"Pressure on God", Robert Longo's unique acrylic and graphite work on paper, was created during the same period as his iconic work, simply labeled "Pressure", now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in N.Y. Whereas the latter depicts a young man, this important work, titled "Pressure on Heaven", then deliberately changed to "Pressure on God", is more ethereal in subject matter, though the lone youth's image is still present in the composition.
overall: 38 1/2 x 52 1/4 in. (97.8 x 132.7 cm.)
sheet: 29 1/2 x 43 in. (74.9 x 109.2 cm.)
From Lexander magazine:
"In the excerpt from Neal Benezra’s article about 1980s art in the previous post, he writes, “Robert Longo’s Pressure might well be the most representative work of art of the 1980s.” I would go further and state that it is the definitive work of the 1980s—the penultimate visual anthem of the era—and most especially the period between 1979—1987, during which the musical genres of gothic rock and deathrock flourished and achieved their greatest artistic successes through the work of a variety of diverse bands including Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Sisters of Mercy, and most appropriately to the subject of this article, Christian Death...Pressure is the penultimate visual anthem of non-conformists everywhere, and it’s relevance, as with all great works of art, is timeless." (March, 2013)

Signature: Signed and dated 'Robert Longo 83’ (lower right). Verso of the frame bears two stickers from Christie's, Inc.: Christie's New York: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 [Lot 00218] First Open NYC

About Robert Longo

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.

American, b. 1953, Brooklyn, New York, based in New York, New York