Robert Longo - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Friday, October 17, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Exhibited

    Paris, Galerie Daniel Templon, Robert Longo, March 17 – April 18, 1990

  • Literature

    C. Smulders and Galerie Daniel Templon, eds., Robert Longo: Black Flags, Paris, 1990, p. 20 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Robert Longo's Black Flag series is a representation of a new direction that the artist embarked upon after having moved to Paris in early 1990, embodying subtle expressions of patriotism and the question of identity through the powerful yet ultimately melancholic action of blacking out the ultimate American icon. The excessive blackness that the patinated bronze presents is a muffled verisimilitude to the American flag, with its symbols made illegible and at times entirely and purposefully concealed. Even more contradictory of the original imagery is Longo's choice of medium – the heavy, fixed molten bronze literally weighs down the very nature of the free flowing symbol of Americas freedom blowing in the wind. With a deliberate edge, Longo's work embodies that exact element; here, the sculpture billows from its fixed state suspended on the gallery wall. Robert Longo's Black Flag series is without a doubt a reflection of the artists own submissive confusion in his personal quest for patriotism and identity.


Black Flag (Freedom… by any Means Necessary, Malcolm X)

81.3 x 104.1 x 45.7 cm. (32 x 41 x 18 in).
Incised '#II Robert Longo ‘90' on the reverse. This work is unique.

£10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for £26,250

Contemporary Art Day Sale

18 Oct 2008 2pm