Exhibition

Robert Longo: Untitled (Dividing Time)

September 13, 2017 - October 12, 2017

The flag Untitled (Dividing Time) (2017) by Robert Longo is based on a monumental, black-and-white charcoal drawing of the American flag that Longo completed the day of the 2016 presidential election. A diptych of two unequal parts, the right side of the drawing is slightly larger than the left, reflecting on both current and longstanding divisions—political, social, and racial—in the United States. 

On view outside the Museum's south entrance, the flag was created as part of Pledges of Allegiance, a national public art series organized by Creative Time in New York. This serialized commission of sixteen flags, each created by an acclaimed artist, was conceived in response to the current political climate. Pledges of Allegiance gives artists a platform to express their views on issues about which they are passionate and aims to inspire a sense of community among cultural institutions across the United States. 

Robert Longo (b. 1953) is an American artist, filmmaker, and musician who first gained recognition as a member of the Pictures Generation in New York City in the late 1970s and 1980s, known for their use of appropriation and montage to critique image-saturated media culture. Displaying this flag at the Kemper Art Museum is intended as a signal to spark discussion about how the arts might meaningfully raise awareness of current problems facing the nation.

Pledges of Allegiance was originally conceived by Alix Browne and developed in collaboration with Cian Browne, Fabienne Stephan, and Opening Ceremony. Participating artists are Tania Bruguera, Alex Da Corte, Jeremy Deller, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ann Hamilton, Robert Longo, Josephine Meckseper, Marilyn Minter, Vik Muniz, Jayson Musson, Ahmet Ögüt, Yoko Ono, Trevor Paglen, Pedro Reyes, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Nari Ward.

Other institutions flying the flag include:

  • 21c Museum Hotel - Durham, North Carolina
  • The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum - Ridgefield, Connecticut 
  • Brooklyn Museum - Brooklyn, New York
  • Creative Time - New York, New York
  • Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University - Ithaca, New York
  • KMAC Museum - Louisville, Kentucky
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit - Detroit, Michigan 
  • RISD Museum - Providence, Rhode Island
  • USF Contemporary Art Museum - Tampa, Florida 

Image credit:

Robert Longo (American, b. 1953), Untitled (Dividing Time), from Pledges of Allegiance, 2017. Polyester flag, 48 x 72". Courtesy of Creative Time. Photo by Nicholas Prakas.