Created in 2022, this charcoal drawing belongs to a new body of work by American artist Robert Longo that pays homage to the European pioneers of post-war art. Longo reworks iconic paintings as drawings, carefully recreating their textural modulations and nuances of colour in monochrome to celebrate the materiality of paint, while challenging the traditional hierarchies of form, materials and medium in Western art history.
This work recreates French artist Yves Klein’s Anthropométrie san titre (ANT 110) (1960), now housed in the collection of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. In Klein’s original, the bodies of models were conceived as ‘living paintbrushes’ as they were coated in paint and imprinted on large sheets of paper. Here, Longo enlarges the scale of the work as he transposes it onto paper, pushing the image towards a register of abstraction and distancing his version from the original. As Louvre curator Dominique de Font-Réaulx notes, in this series he ‘free[s] the language imprisoned in a work by recreating it in his own style, to grasp, through a process of remaking and reinvention, the artist’s thought, which is discernible through intention and gesture.’