Robert Longo’s 25-foot drawing

In his current show at Metro Pictures, Robert Longo is focused on the shifts of perception that an image can at once evoke and extend in relation to its environment. The centerpiece of the show is a five-panel 25-foot drawing “Untitled (Cathedral of Light),” an image of glaring sunlight flooding through massive cathedral windows. Other images include a satellite view of Tokyo, its radiating roadways appearing as shattered glass; an immense concert stage where light physically engulfs the musicians; an exterior view of the hull of an airplane, its lighted windows revealing the isolation of people in close confinement; and a lone figure walking through an eerily illuminated forest.

In Time Out New York, TJ Carlin visits Longo in his studio. “When we started out our heroes were Bruce Nauman and Richard Serra and Hannah Wilke and Lynda Benglis. These guys were not making money! Our dream was to be really lucky and maybe get a stipend from a gallery, maybe sell some work. The idea of making money as an artist just didn’t exist. I think the other thing that was really important for us, the CalArts people and the Buffalo people: We didn’t go to school in New York, so we weren’t seduced by the scene. When we came to New York, the art scene we thought existed was dying, so it didn’t really matter anymore. The night became more important than the day, the movie theaters and the rock clubs.” Read more.

Robert Longo: Surrendering the Absolutes,” Metro Pictures, New York, NY. Through May 30.

The Pictures Generation: 1974-1984,” Metropolitan Museum, New York, NY. Through August 2. Artists include: John Baldessari, Ericka Beckman, Dara Birnbaum, Barbara Bloom, Eric Bogosian, Glenn Branca, Troy Brauntuch, James Casebere, Sarah Charlesworth, Rhys Chatham, Charles Clough, Nancy Dwyer, Jack Goldstein, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Thomas Lawson, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, Allan McCollum, Paul McMahon, MICA-TV (Carole Ann Klonarides & Michael Owen), Matt Mullican, Richard Prince, David Salle, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Michael Smith, James Welling, and Michael Zwack.

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