Robert Longo, ‘Untitled (Jules)’, 1981, Phillips

New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Focus on the Figure: 20 Years, 15 April - 13 June 1982
Akron, Akron Art Museum, Robert Longo: Drawings & Reliefs, 7 April - 10 June 1984

Carter Ratcliff, Robert Longo, New York, 1985, pl. 53 (installation view)
Richard Price and Robert Longo, Men in the Cities 1979-1982, New York, 1986, no. 26 (illustrated)

Private Collection, New York
Christie’s, New York, 8 November 1990, lot 201
Private Collection (acquired at the above sale)
Sotheby’s, New York, 15 May 2013, lot 464
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

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