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Robert Longo
Black Flag, Robert Longo

1999

Price Upon Request

About

Long fascinated by the iconography of power and violence, Robert Longo’s most overt engagement with America’s legacy has been through his Black Flag series. Created as a cast paper relief by the artist in 1999, Black Flag is a three-dimensional print, hand-signed and numbered in pencil, measuring 27 ¾ x 44 x 3 ½ in (70.5 x 112 x 9 cm), unframed, from the edition of 60. Accompanied by Certificate of Authenticity from Michael Lisi Contemporary Art.

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    Ships From: New York, NY
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About the Artist

Robert Longo

The drawings by artist Robert Longo are a sensory experience: They are monumental, detailed and hard-hitting in their subject matter, which often includes critiques of power, social unrest and consumer capitalism.

Longo has spent his career exploring mediums as varied as the Photorealistic charcoal drawings for which he is best known and film direction. In all of his work, however, he draws inspiration from his deep background in sculpture. “I always think that drawing is a sculptural process. I always feel like I’m carving the image out rather than painting the image. I’m carving it out with erasers and tools like that,” he once said.

The Long Island, New York, native attended high school with a man who was shot at Kent State University while protesting the U.S. invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War in 1970, and the famous image of this man lying dead on the ground influenced Longo so deeply that he began to consider all art political. Longo attended Buffalo State College, where he met and became friends with artist Cindy Sherman, and later the two moved to New York City together.

Longo’s revered work includes his charcoal and graphite “Men in the Cities” drawings. The Photorealist series, which debuted at Metro Pictures gallery in Manhattan in 1981, depicted people in formal business clothing. Posing in suspended animation in unusual contortions, the figures take on a choreographic quality and represent the career-minded “yuppies” of the era.

“Men in the Cities” was inspired by punk rock music and decades later has been cited as a visual reference for the opening sequence of the popular television drama Mad Men. The work was among the most recognizable and iconic of the Pictures Generation — the movement by artists who came of age in the 1970s and were disillusioned by the social and political conditions of the time. In 2014, Longo created 12 charcoal drawings for a series titled “Gang of Cosmos,” which were black-and-white depictions of famous Abstract Expressionist works by artists like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Lee Krasner.

Through his provocative, detailed and highly precise prints, drawings, photography and sculpture, Longo continues to challenge traditional sources of power and authority.

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About the Seller
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