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Untitled (Empire)

© Robert Longo / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Robert Longo / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Robert Longo / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Robert Longo

American, born 1953

Untitled (Empire), 1981

silkscreen

Edition: 40/46

sheet: 39 x 59 5/8 inches (99.06 x 151.45 cm); frame: 44 3/4 x 66 1/2 x 1 3/4 inches (113.67 x 168.91 x 4.45 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Charles W. Goodyear Fund, 1981

P1981:6

More Details

Inscriptions

signature, dated / front, lower right / Robert Longo 1982
edition notation / front, lower left / 40/46

Class

Prints

Work Type

Screen print

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

One of the cofounders of the Buffalo nonprofit art center Hallwalls, Robert Longo is known for his works on paper—typically large-scale drawings of loaded subject matter rendered with intense black tones. Here, Longo’s subject is the Brandenburg Gate, the famous eighteenth-century monument to German unification later adopted as a symbol of the Nazis; but he does not celebrate it as much as question how and what it represents. By drawing the white marble structure in a black silhouette, he suggests the perversity of using elements from the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome—long associated with power, but also democracy and the equality of people—to symbolize twentieth-century fascism. In a 1984 interview, Longo explained his motive: “I watch the visual mechanisms of culture, which are so sophisticated—the way the Nazis turned Germany into a Nazi state, for example. That is like child’s play compared to the mechanisms that exist now to turn this country into something quite horrific. So one of the things about the artist, what the artist has to do, is that he has to be like a policeman. A great deal of my art . . . is about blowing the whistle on society.”

Label from Window to Wall: Art from Architecture, November 18, 2017–March 18, 2018

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