b. New York, USA 1953
Robert Longo is an American painter and sculptor which became a rising star in the 1980s for his "Men in the Cities" series, which depicted sharply dressed men and women writhing in contorted emotion. 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. 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.
Longo has had retrospective exhibitions at Hamburger Kunstverein and Deichtorhallen, Menil Collection in Houston, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1989, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in 1990, Hartford Athenaeum, The Isetan Museum of Art in Tokyo, and a "Survey Exhibition 1980-2009," at Musee D'Art Moderne Et D'Art Contemporain de Nice in France in 2009 and at Museu Colecção Berardo in Lisbon, Portugal in 2010. Group exhibitions include Documenta, the Whitney Biennial, and the Venice Biennale. His photorealistic charcoal drawings were featured in the exhibition "Proof" at the Brooklyn Museum in 2017 alongside works by Goya and Eisenstein.