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b. 1953, USA

Robert Longo Biography

Robert Longo is an American artist whose practice encompasses drawing, painting, film, photography, music, performance, and sculpture.

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Longo began his studies in sculpture at the University of North Texas before receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Buffalo State College in 1975. There, he studied under photorealist artist Joseph Piccillo, who had an undeniable influence on his practice.

Robert Longo's charcoal and graphite drawings, for which he is most well-known, are heavily influenced by his background in sculpture. Many of his drawings exhibit a three-dimensionality that recalls his early studies. Robert Longo's subjects—including sharks, tigers and people—are simply modelled in graphite rather than clay.

Among Longo's most notable works are his charcoal drawings from the 'Men in the Cities' series (1977–1983), which captures subjects in contorted, moving poses. Enlarged and drawn from photographs, the subjects are dressed in rather formal clothing and confined to a colour palette of strictly black and white.

His series of black American flags, aptly titled 'Black Flags' (1989–1999), show Robert Longo's artistic transition into creating works that comment on contemporary themes relating to power and authority. Longo's large-scale drawings of handguns from the mid-1990s expand on these themes and provide a possible critique of American society.

Robert Longo's paintings, drawings, and sculptures have been shown around the world. The artist's recent solo exhibitions have included When Heaven and Hell Changes Places at the Hall Art Foundation Schloss Derneburg Museum (2020); Amerika at Metro Pictures, New York (2019); Let the Frame of Things Disjoint at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris (2017); The Invention of Zero (After Malevich) at Galerie Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf (2015); The Capitol Project at The Aldrich Museum, Connecticut (2012); and Mysterious Heart at Galeria Soledad Lorenzo, Madrid (2011).

Robert Longo's artworks can be found in collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Ludwig Museum, Cologne; the Albertina, Vienna; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Frances Hodgson | Ocula | 2020

Robert Longo, Untitled (Robert E. Lee Monument Graffiti for George Floyd; Richmond, Virginia, 2020) (2021) (detail). Charcoal on mounted paper. 243.8 x 370.8 cm. © Robert Longo. Courtesy Pace Gallery.

Robert Longo Featured Artworks

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Untitled (Baseball Stadium, 2020) by Robert Longo contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
Robert LongoUntitled (Baseball Stadium, 2020), 2021Charcoal on mounted paper
165.1 x 304.8 cm
Pace Gallery
Men in the Cities by Robert Longo contemporary artwork print
Robert LongoMen in the Cities, 19903 colour lithograph on paper
26 x 40 inches
Metro Pictures Contact Gallery
Edmund by Robert Longo contemporary artwork print
Robert LongoEdmund, 19853 colour lithograph
68 x 39 inches
Metro Pictures Contact Gallery
Gretchen by Robert Longo contemporary artwork print
Robert LongoGretchen, 1982-19832 colour lithograph with embossing
36.5 x 21 inches
Metro Pictures Contact Gallery
Untitled (Potemkin With Black Square, Sailboat in Harbor) by Robert Longo contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
Robert LongoUntitled (Potemkin With Black Square, Sailboat in Harbor), 2016Charcoal on mounted paper
133.4 x 304.8 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Study of Killer Iceberg by Robert Longo contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Robert LongoStudy of Killer Iceberg, 2018Ink and charcoal on vellum
39.7 x 53.3 cm
Capitain Petzel Enquire
Study of Riot Cops w/ Tear Gas Guns + Shields by Robert Longo contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Robert LongoStudy of Riot Cops w/ Tear Gas Guns + Shields, 2018Ink and charcoal on vellum
40.3 x 83.8 cm
Capitain Petzel Enquire

Robert Longo Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Robert Longo Represented By

Metro Pictures contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Metro Pictures New York
Pace Gallery contemporary art gallery in 540 West 25th Street, New York, USA Pace Gallery Beijing, East Hampton, Geneva, Hong Kong, London, New York, Palm Beach, Palo Alto, Seoul

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