The Sickness of Reason
20 February - 27 March 2004
Massive, roiling, atomic explosions are the central subjects of The Sickness of Reason, Robert Longo's exhibition of large, highly detailed, and intensely black charcoal drawings. The drawings combine stunning visual presence, charged emotional content, and awe-inspiring physical power Ð themes that have engaged the artist throughout his career. The powerful impact of the drawings results from the reanimation of atomic bomb tests known primarily through grey and grainy newspaper images from the cold war era. The relationship between this body of work and the drawings of the last three years is articulated by the inclusion of additional drawings; one inspired by Einstein's office at Princeton that has the eerie presence of the Freud Drawings; another of an ocean with parallel lines of breaking waves titled, On the Beach: the Last Wave that departs from Longo's recent Monsters series of crashing breakers.
Robert Longo's studio is in Lower Manhattan; he lives in Brooklyn. His work is included in this year's Whitney Biennial. An exhibition of his Freud Drawings (shown at Metro Pictures in 2001) traveled to the Krefelder Kunstmuseen in Germany and the Albertina in Vienna accompanied by a catalogue. Longo has had retrospective exhibitions at the Hamburger Kunstverein and Deichtorhallen, Germany; Menil Collection, Houston; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Hartford Athenaeum; Isetan Museum of Art, Tokyo; and been included in group shows such as Documenta, Whitney Biennial, Venice Biennale, and the Carnegie International. His work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Guggenheim Museum; High Museum, Atlanta; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Menil Collection, Houston; Musee d'art Contemporain, Montreal; Whitney Museum of American Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Albertina, Vienna; and the Tate Gallery, London.