Artist biography

American painter, sculptor, performance artist and video artist. He received his BFA in 1975 from the State University College in Buffalo, NY, with a professed ambition to reach the largest possible audience. In his early work, notably a series of large-scale drawings in charcoal and graphite entitled Men in the Cities (e.g. Untitled, 1.52×1.98 m, 1981; Atlanta, GA, High Mus. A.), he treated contorted, life-size human figures in isolation or in group situations in which the struggle for power created a menacing atmosphere. He also produced monumental works combining flat images derived from photographs with elements in sculptural relief, such as Sword of the Pig (2.48×5.88×0.51 m, 1983; London, Tate). During the late 1980s he was increasingly involved with films such as Arena Brains (30 minutes, 1988), which depicts life in the SoHo district of Manhattan.

C. Ratcliff: Robert Longo (New York, 1985)
Robert Longo: Men in the Cities, 1979–1982 (New York, 1986), intro. R. Prince [incl. interview]
H. Fox: Robert Longo (New York, 1989)
C. Lewis: ‘Mondo Longo', A. America, lxxvii/3 (1989), pp. 35–9
Robert Longo (exh. cat., ed. H. Fox; Los Angeles, CA, Co. Mus. A.; Chicago, IL, Mus. Contemp. A.; Hartford, CT, Wadsworth Atheneum; 1989–90)
K. Tsuzuki: Robert Longo (Kyoto, 1992)
W. Saunders: ‘Robert Longo', A. America, lxxxi/1 (1993), pp. 84–6


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