Robert Longo presents new sculpture and drawings at Metro Pictures from February 5 to March 5. A concurrent exhibition at Leo Castelli, 142 Greene Street, runs from February 5 to 26.
In his second one-person exhibition in New York, Longo expands both the scale and the imagery of the work. The scale has grown from the large isolated figures and architectural reliefs that has been identified with his work, to monumental groups of drawings and sculpture of diversified subjects. The dynamic energy of the earlier individual pieces has been translated with greater intensity to the new imagery and presentation as seen in "Corporate Wars" which was first exhibited at Documenta last summer. This work, 26 feet long installed, combines a cast aluminum relief of an entangled group of men and women with two lacquered wood architectural abstractions. The work, inspired by the action on the floor of the Stock Exchange and the Wall Street crush in general, epitomizes Longo's concern with urban tension and anxiety and formalizes his earlier presentation of single figures alongside buildings. Another work combines a free-standing sculpture of a man in front of a four-panel drawing of the rubble of a demolished city street reminiscent in its immediacy of either Beirut or the South Bronx. A cast of a larger-than-life bust of a man and woman rests atop a relief of automobile wreckage in a piece that Longo refers to as "the doors." Other pieces use drawing, painting, silkscreen and wood constructions alone and in combination to present single and grouped images of children, sleeping figures, horse and rider. These pieces, many of which are themes from Long's planned film production, will be at Metro Pictures.
Robert Longo's gallery and performance pieces have been widely exhibited, written about and reproduced. In March his work will be seen in the Whitney Biennial and "Directions 1983" at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. and later in the year at the Sao Paulo Bienal. In Europe Longo's work has been seen in Documenta, Kassel, West Germany; Westkunst, Cologne, West Germany; "Il Gergo Inquieti" in Genoa, "Urban Kisses" at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. Amongst the many recent shows at U.S. institutions that included Longo's work were: "Body Language: Figurative Aspects of Recent Art" at MIT (traveling exhibition); "Figures: Forms and Expressions" at Albright-Knox; "The Human Figure in Contemporary Art," Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; "Eight Artists: The Anxious Edge" at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; "New Figuration in America," at Milwaukee Art Center; "The Image Scavengers," at the ICA in Philadelphia.