ROBERT LONGO'S first New York exhibition since 1993 opens at Metro Pictures on Tuesday, November 18th, featuring his MAGELLAN series of 366 small black & white drawings. Installed salon-style throughout the gallery's ground-floor spaces, these extraordinary drawings suggest a narrative using images ranging from the dramatic to the serene: rock stars and sports heroes; portraits of the artist's wife, actress Barbara Sukowa, and their children; film stills, advertisements and artworks; politicians and public events; landscapes and wildlife. In January 1996 Longo began this series of drawings which catalogs the images that influence his thoughts, represent his personal and cultural environment and inform his visual language. This compendium of drawings present a striking reversal of his signature grand-scale artwork. Longo initiated the project when he decided to work alone in his studio following the prior two years spent directing the feature film JOHNNY MNEMONIC that involved collaborating with more than 200 people.
The MAGELLAN series was first shown at the Kunsthalle Tubingen, the Kunstal Rotterdam and the Kunsthalle Bielefeld. There is a fully-illustrated book documenting the entire project, published by DuMont Buchverlag, Koln.
Robert Longo's work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia since 1980 including one-person shows at the Brooklyn Museum; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the Menil Collection in Houston; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford; the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; the Isetan Museum, Tokyo; and the Museum Friedericianum, Kassel, Germany. His important group exhibitions include the Whitney Biennial (1983); the Sydney Biennale (1983); the Carnegie International (1985); Documenta 7 (1982) and 8 (1987); and the Venice Biennale (1997). His work is well represented in public collections including the Guggenheim Museum; the Menil Collection; the Museum of Modern Art; the Tate Gallery; the Walker Art Center and the Whitney Museum. Longo has also directed numerous rock videos for artists including R.E.M., and co-directed and designed the set and costumes for Mozart's opera Lucio Silla, presented at the Mozart Festival in Salzburg, Austria (1992 & '93) and at the Frankfurt Opera House (1995).
The exhibition continues through January 10th, 1998.