Robert Longo

(Brooklyn, New York, 1953 - )

North America, American

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Robert Longo gained notoriety for Men In The Cities, his series of large-scale graphite and charcoal drawings in which men and women wearing formal dress contort their bodies ambiguously, perhaps falling, writhing in pain or dancing ecstatically. After brief studies at the University of North Texas in Denton and the Academia di Belle Arti in Florence, Longo earned a BFA from the State University of New York Buffalo in 1975. As a student, he co-founded what is now Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center alongside peers including photographer Cindy Sherman. Longo moved to New York City, where he pursued an art career focused on drawing. Major series include Bodyhammers, drawings of handguns; Monsters, which depicted waves;The Sickness of Realism, images of clouds from atomic bomb explosions; and Ophelia, which featured close-ups of roses. In the 1980s, Longo directed music videos for songs including New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” and R.E.M.’s “The One I Love.” The artist directed the full-length feature film Johnny Mnemonic, which was released in 1995.

Longo exhibited in Documenta in 1982 and 1987, the Whitney Biennial in 1983 and 2004, and the Venice Biennale in 1997. Retrospective exhibitions of his work have been mounted at the Menil Collection in Houston, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Longo’s work can be found in museum collections internationally, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Tate Gallery, London. He is represented by Metro Pictures in New York City.

Lives New York City


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