Robert Longo, ‘Untitled (NY Athletic Club)’, 1980, Mark Borghi Fine Art

Signature: Incised with artist’s signature and date ‘Robert Longo 80’ verso

New York, Metro Pictures, Men in the Cities, January 1981 (another example exhibited).

Metro Pictures, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1981 until 2017

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