New York

Robert Longo

Leo Castelli Gallery And Metro Pictures

Fascination is the key to Robert Longo’s work. The fascinated gaze of the viewer awaits the falling figure’s end—his death.

Since Longo’s use of a single Rainer Fassbinder film still in the late ’70s, through his images of men fighting (the “Men in the Cities” series, 1979–81), to the more recent Corporate Wars: Walls of Influence, 1982, an overriding concern in his work has been the seemingly continuous image of “the fall.” This image has almost entirely preoccupied Longo. We move with him from the verticality of the early, single silhouettes of men to the horizontal ity of the later fallen men and women. The masculine image (the hero) becomes deflated.

In the cinema, death becomes that moment frozen between the vertical and the horizontal just before man “bites the dust” for the last time. Longo’s newer fight pieces, exemplified by Corporate Wars . . . , seem like attempts to restore a

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