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