Robert Longo - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Wednesday, October 14, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Metro Pictures, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Metro Pictures, Robert Longo: Magellan, 18 November 1997-10 January 1998.

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the leap year of 1996 Robert Longo produced 366 drawings, one each day, that formed his renowned Magellan series. In this eclectic collection of monochrome works, Longo’s masterful handling of his preferred medium is truly brought to the fore. Imbuing these pieces with his distinctive photographic clarity as well as striking chiaroscuro, the artist raises the status of drawing from something typically used by artists in the preparatory sketching phase, to a medium just as capable of subtleties and power as painting or sculpture. By treating his subject matter in a sculptural manner where light, texture and detail forms the foundation of his works, Longo creates a beautifully captivating series where each drawing gains harmonious unity through a shared chromatic range and medium.

    Capturing images from the everyday, Longo produces an archive of eye-catching moments from a year in his life. The sheer array of subject matters on display in these works, ranging from sportsmen to bomb explosions, illustrates the variety of influences Longo found inspiration in. Captivated by images from the media, advertising, television and the streets around him, Longo formed a visual dialogue in this series where snapshots of the seemingly banal were able to mingle with images of important events, and in this way he emphatically bridged the cultural collective memory with his own very personal one.


Eight works: (i) Procession; (ii) Mark & Wayne; (iii) Explosion; (iv) Patrol; (v) Betty; (vi) Train; (vii) Mickey; (viii) Jewish Star; from the series Magellan

charcoal, graphite, ink and chalk on vellum
(i) 50.2 x 49.2 cm (19 3/4 x 19 3/8 in.)
(ii) 59.9 x 47.1 cm (23 5/8 x 18 1/2 in.)
(iii) 58.7 x 47.1 cm (23 1/8 x 18 1/2 in.)
(iv) 48 x 57 cm (18 7/8 x 22 1/2 in.)
(v) 48.9 x 54.8 cm (19 1/4 x 21 5/8 in.)
(vi) 49.2 x 57.5 cm (19 3/8 x 22 5/8 in.)
(vii) 60.4 x 48 cm (23 3/4 x 18 7/8 in.)
(viii) 54 x 49.3 cm (21 1/4 x 19 3/8 in.)

Please note the image size in the catalogue and online is not representative of the true proportions

£80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for £86,500

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061

Contemporary Art Day Sale

London 15 October 2015 2pm