Robert Longo

Jules, Gretchen, Mark, State II


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Robert Longo born 1953
Lithograph on paper
Image: 762 × 1340 mm
Purchased 1983

Catalogue entry

P07899 Jules, Gretchen, Mark, State 11 1982–3

Lithograph and embossing 30 × 52 3/4 (762 × 1340) on Velin Arches paper 36 1/2 × 68 (928 × 1728), printed by Maurice Sanchez and others at Derrière l'Etoile Studios, New York and published by Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York
Inscribed ‘Robert Longo 83’ b.r. and ‘19/30’
Purchased from Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York (Grant-in-Aid) 1983

P07899 depicts three figures, two males and a female, in active poses and dressed in city clothes. The words ‘State 11’ in the title refer to the fact that Longo made prints of each of these figures individually before combining them in one image. State 1 is in an edition of 45 each.

P07899 is related to a drawing entitled ‘Study for Final Life 1982/Untitled 1982’ (repr. Carter Ratcliff, Robert Longo, Munich, 1985, pl.55) and to three untitled drawings, two of 1981 and one of 1982 (repr. ibid., pl.53). These last three drawings preceded the making of the prints.

Longo's images are deliberately ambiguous suggesting violence, drunkenness, dancing and dying. They are based on photographs which the artist takes but which he then works in such a way that the figures become anonymous. Ratcliff has identified that ‘Longo's contorted men in suits have their origin in an image of assassination - a still from a Rainer Werner Fassbinder film, The American Soldier, which shows a man with his hand drawn to the bullet wound in his violently arching back’ (Ratcliff, p.16). The series of drawings to which P07889 relates is entitled ‘Men in the Cities’.

Each image in P07889 is embossed in such a way that the figures appear to be separately printed. The figures are drawn by hand.

This entry has been approved by the artist.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986

You might like