Robert Longo, Untitled (Gretchen), 1980, charcoal and graphite on paper, 96 x 60".


Robert Longo

Museu Coleção Berardo
Praça do Império
February 15–April 25

Curated by Caroline Smulders

Robert Longo was in on the ground level of what’s now called the Pictures generation, having participated in the seminal New York exhibition organized by Douglas Crimp in 1977. But though Longo has received as much market attention as his peers, he hasn’t always gotten as much respect; there’s a crowd-pleasing drama to his drawing and sculpture, which are generally grand in scale, high in contrast, and often strong with a less-than-subtle intimation of apocalypse. A Damien Hirst before his time—he relishes guns, tidal waves, and mushroom clouds the way Hirst does sharks and dead butterflies—Longo seems to see everything in literal black and white. This retrospective of more than one hundred pieces from the past thirty years (it began at Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain in Nice, France) offers a chance to get a handle on the Pictures people’s bad boy.