Born January 7, 1953 in Brooklyn, New York, American artist Robert Longo studied sculpture at the State University College in Buffalo, New York, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1975.
During this time he worked under filmmakers Paul Sharits and Hollis Frampton who introduced him to structural filmmaking and Sergei Eisenstein’s films. In 1974, while at Buffalo, he co-founded, with Charles Clough, the exhibition space Hallwalls, organizing shows with Vito Acconci, John Baldessari, Lynda Benglis, Robert Irwin, Joan Jonas, Bruce Nauman, and Richard Serra, and establishing relationships that proved seminal to his development. It was at this time that his life-long friendship with Cindy Sherman began. Longo is best known for Men in the Cities, his critically acclaimed, larger-than-life, photorealistic drawings of contorted figures, done from 1977 to 1983. Using charcoal, graphite and ink, this monochrome series depicting the reactive movements of businessmen and women in static suspension became icons of 1980s art. Longo has had retrospective exhibitions at the Hamburger Kunstverein, the Menil Collection in Houston and the Isetan Museum of Art in Tokyo, and his work has been exhibited in the Whitney Museum Biennial in New York, documenta in Kassel and the Venice Biennial, among others. He is represented in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the British Museum, London; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Guggenheim Museum, NY; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; the Menil Collection, Houston, the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Tate Gallery, London, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY among many others. He lives and works in New York.
Portrait : photography by Martin Kunze, courtesy of the Studio Robert Longo