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Robert Longo (American, b.1953)
LOT ID: 66454
Study for Ortheus, 2005

Ink, and charcoal on vellum
11.75 х 20.75 in. (29.84 x 52.7 cm.)
Signed, and dated, lower right; titled, lower left
Lot description
Presenting one of the Robert Longo’s most celebrated themes, the wave, this charcoal is a study for a larger work Longo created numerous charcoal renderings of waves in the early 2000s as part of his ‘Monsters’ series. Drawn to the power and ferocity of a breaking wave, Longo sourced images from his own photos and surfing magazines to fully appreciate their force, beauty, and magnitude, which he wonderfully captures in his dramatic black and white renderings.

Born and raised in New York, Robert Longo (b.1953) had a fascination with mass media, which would continue to influence his art. Longo became famous in 1981 with his first solo exhibition of his "Men in the Cities" series at Metro Pictures, New York, which illustrated businessmen (and women) in fluid movements intersected by architectural forms made of cast aluminum reliefs. Since then he often engaged his paintings with 3-dimensional materials. Longo earned his BFA in 1975 from the State University College, Buffalo, NY. He was one of the original founders (along with Diane Bertolo, Charles Clough, Nancy Dwyer, Cindy Sherman, and Michael Zwack) of the highly influential Hallwalls. He is a co-founder and member of the band X PATSYS (with Barbara Sukowa, Jon Kessler, Anthony Coleman, Anton Fier and Sean Conly). In 2009, the Musee d´Art Moderne et d`Art Contemporain Nice in Nice, France staged a major retrospective of Longo’s career from 1980-2009, which travelled to the Berardo Museum, Lisbon, Portugal in 2010. His work has also been the subject of recent solo shows at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France (2011); Galería Soledad Lorenzo, Madrid, Spain (2011); Kunsthalle Weishaupt, Ulm, Germany (2010); and Metro Pictures Gallery, New York, NY (2009).

Longo is represented by Metro Pictures in New York City and Galerie Hans Mayer in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Selected Public Collections:

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MO
Tate Britain, London, UK
Centre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris, France
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Albertina, Vienna, Austria
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Sales Results for Comparable Works

  • Robert Longo

    The face (study)
    ink, graphite and charcoal on vellum
    (H 11.2, W 19.2) in.
    (28.5 x 48.8) cm.
    Sold for: US$20,000
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011
    Christie's New York
    Lot 00010
  • Robert Longo

    Götterdämmerung (study)
    charcoal and ink on Mylar
    (H 14.6, W 21.1) in.
    (37 x 53.7) cm.
    Sold for: US$52,145
    Wednesday, June 29, 2011
    Christie's London
    Lot 00289
  • Robert Longo

    Ice house (study)
    charcoal on paper
    (H 15.0, W 21.7) in.
    (38 x 55) cm.
    Ed. unique
    Sold for: US$36,526
    Friday, February 18, 2011
    Phillips de Pury & Company London
    Lot 00219
  • Robert Longo

    Heavy Joe (study)
    charcoal and ink on vellum
    (H 11.0, W 16.1) in.
    (28 x 41) cm.
    Sold for: US$43,750
    Wednesday, November 10, 2010
    Sotheby's New York
    Lot 00406
  • Robert Longo

    Mysterious heart, reversed (study)
    charcoal on paper
    (H 14.3, W 21.4) in.
    (36.4 x 54.3) cm.
    Sold for: US$59,705
    Friday, October 15, 2010
    Christie's London
    Lot 00225
  • Robert Longo

    Wall of voodoo (study)
    charcoal and graphite on vellum
    (H 12.0, W 18.0) in.
    (30.5 x 45.7) cm.
    Sold for: US$42,934
    Saturday, October 17, 2009
    Christie's London
    Lot 00171
  • Robert Longo

    Study for serpent's tongue, tall, Elvis
    ink, charcoal and graphite
    (H 21.0, W 14.0) in.
    (53.3 x 35.5) cm.
    Sold for: US$62,500
    Wednesday, November 12, 2008
    Sotheby's New York
    Lot 00592
  • Robert Longo

    charcoal, ink and graphite
    (H 11.7, W 18.7) in.
    (29.8 x 47.6) cm.
    Sold for: US$110,104
    Tuesday, July 1, 2008
    Christie's London
    Lot 00413
  • Robert Longo

    Study of Tunga
    charcoal, ink and graphite
    (H 9.3, W 14.3) in.
    (23.5 x 36.2) cm.
    Sold for: US$74,233
    Tuesday, July 1, 2008
    Christie's London
    Lot 00414
  • Robert Longo

    Neb skull island (study)
    charcoal, ink and graphite
    (H 12.0, W 16.7) in.
    (30.5 x 42.5) cm.
    Sold for: US$54,803
    Tuesday, July 1, 2008
    Christie's London
    Lot 00415
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