Artist Robert Longo Is Joining Pace Gallery After Four Decades at the Soon-to-Shutter Metro Pictures


Two months after his gallery of four decades, Metro Pictures, announced its closure, artist Robert Longo has found a new home. 

Today, Pace Gallery announced that the influential Pictures Generation artist has joined its star-studded roster. The new partnership will be christened with a solo show of Longo’s recent work this September at Pace’s flagship space on 25th Street in New York.

“The decision of where to go after showing with Metro Pictures for 40 years was a difficult one,” Longo said in a statement. “After my initial meeting with Arne and Marc [Glimcher, Pace’s founder and CEO, respectively], I immediately felt comfortable. Marc’s enthusiasm and insight into my work is inspiring.”

Marc Glimcher, in his own statement, copped to being a “Longo superfan” since 1985. The artist’s “ability to capture our generation’s worldview on paper, the way our bands captured it on vinyl, was and is unique,” he said. “Robert speaks in the language of memory, marked down in velvet in sheets of charcoal and iconographically reconstituted in brilliant black and white.” 

Longo’s work has “never been more relevant and more pressing than it is today,” Glimcher added. 

A view of Longo's studio, with <i>Untitled (Raft at Sea)</i> (2017) on view. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

A view of Longo’s studio, with Untitled (Raft at Sea) (2017) on view. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

Longo will continue to show with Thaddaeus Ropac, his longtime European gallery. A spokesperson from Pace said that, outside of Europe, the two galleries will “work collaboratively” to represent the artist. Already Pace and Ropac share representation of several other artists, including Adrian Ghenie, Irving Penn, and Raqib Shaw. 

In a move that surprised many, Metro Pictures co-founders Helene Winer and Janelle Reiring declared in March that they would shutter their influential gallery by the end of this year. “We have decided to announce this difficult decision far in advance of our closing in order to give the artists we represent and our staff time to pursue other options and to allow us to participate in their transitions,” the dealers said at the time.

Since then, there has been much speculation as to where the gallery’s high-profile artists—many of whom, like Longo, have shown with the gallery for decades—would relocate. Cindy Sherman joined Hauser and Wirth, as did Gary Simmons. Meanwhile, other notable names, such as Louise Lawler and John Miller, have yet to announce new representation. 

Joining Longo at Pace is Karine Haimo, a sales director at Metro Pictures who has worked closely with the artist for a number of years. Haimo will take on a senior director role in London, according to ARTnews.

Longo’s September exhibition will comprise pieces from his newest body of work, a series of large-scale charcoal drawings titled “A History of the Present.”

“What I’m doing now is the strongest work I’ve done in my life and I bring its relevance to Pace,” Longo said. “I feel a moral imperative to be an artist, especially at this time, and I am confident that Pace Gallery will support the scope of my practice. With Pace it feels like it’s going to be a whole new ballgame that I’ve been training for my entire life.” 

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