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Robert Longo © Martin Kunze

News

Pace Welcomes Robert Longo

May 13, 2021

Marc Glimcher, CEO and President of Pace Gallery, announced today that the gallery will be welcoming Robert Longo to its roster. Pace will collaborate closely with Thaddaeus Ropac as Longo’s existing gallery in Europe. With Ropac, Pace looks forward to building upon the work Metro Pictures did with Longo over the course of their four-decade relationship.

Robert Longo is a classically trained artist with a daringly contemporary vision. Over the past 40 years, Longo has explored drawing, photography, painting, sculpture, performance, and film to make provocative critiques of the anesthetizing and seductive effects of capitalism, mediatized wars, and the cult of history in the United States. In his monumental drawings, Longo marries intense imagination and creative ambition with exacting attention to detail to powerful effect. Rendering images from news media and popular culture at large scales in charcoal on mounted paper, he has created a seminal visual archive of our time. His meticulously rendered drawings work to “slow down” the viewer’s consumption of what the artist refers to as the “image storm,” combatting the impatient consumption familiar to today and immortalizing otherwise ephemeral documentation of current events that require greater attention and permanent record. Longo’s engagement with the contemporary moment draws inspiration from artists as diverse as Francisco Goya, Édouard Manet, Vito Acconci, Joan Jonas, and Stanley Kubrick, and positions him among the leading artists working today.

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Robert Longo, Untitled (Eric), from the series Men in the Cities, 1979–83.Charcoal and graphite on paper, 96 x 60 inches (243.8 x 152.4 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York

Longo’s unmatched technical finesse gives his drawings the appearance of photographs when viewed from afar. Upon closer inspection, however, the labor-intensive mark-making becomes clear. A leading artist of the “Pictures Generation,” Longo first gained recognition in 1979 with his Men in the Cities series, depicting figures as Film Noir characters that writhe in mid-air, encapsulating the energy and angst of the No Wave and Reagan era. Longo’s subsequent work, from Combines, to burned and blackened flags to images of protests and sporting events, has continued to mine the American psyche. A filmmaker, photographer, and musician, Longo has directed iconic music videos such as New Order’s Bizarre Love Triangle (1986) and cult films like Johnny Mnemonic (1995).

Longo’s first project with Pace will be an exhibition in September 2021 at 540 West 25th Street, the gallery’s flagship Chelsea space. The exhibition will be composed of new works made between 2020 and 2021. Longo will also be the subject of two institutional projects this summer with solo exhibitions at Palm Springs Art Museum, California, presented in collaboration with Jeffrey Deitch, July 1, 2021 – January 30, 2022, and at Guild Hall, Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in East Hampton, New York, August 7 – October, 17, 2021. In fall 2024, the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria will present a retrospective exhibition dedicated to Longo.

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Robert Longo, Untitled (Ferguson Police, August 13, 2014), 2014. Charcoal on mounted paper, 86 x 120 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Petzel, New York. Collection of The Broad Art Foundation

Marc Glimcher comments:

“I have been a Robert Longo superfan since I started working at Pace in 1985. His ability to capture our generation’s worldview on paper, the way our bands captured it on vinyl, was and is unique. Robert speaks in the language of memory, marked down in velvet in sheets of charcoal and iconographically reconstituted in brilliant black and white. Longo’s work in film, drawing, and sculpture has never been more relevant and more pressing than it is today. Pace is honored to follow the incredible 40-year partnership Robert had with Helene Winer and Janelle Reiring. Metro Pictures’ contribution to our art world simply cannot be overstated.”

Robert Longo comments:

“I am thrilled to be joining Pace Gallery, a truly American gallery with an epic history. The decision of where to go after showing with Metro Pictures for 40 years was a difficult one. After my initial meeting with Arne and Marc, I immediately felt comfortable. Marc’s enthusiasm and insight into my work is inspiring. I am greatly looking forward to participating in the ambitious vision and showing in the extraordinary spaces Pace has created. What I’m doing now is the strongest work I’ve done in my life and I bring its relevance to Pace. I feel a moral imperative to be an artist, especially at this time, and I am confident that Pace Gallery will support the scope of my practice. With Pace it feels like it’s going to be a whole new ballgame that I’ve been training for my entire life.”

Learn more about Robert Longo.
News — Pace Welcomes Robert Longo, May 13, 2021