Born in Manhattan in 1923, Vincent Longo is one of the last abstract painter/printmaker artists who matured during the late 1940s and early 1950s. He graduated from The Cooper Union in 1946, and later studied at The Brooklyn Museum School with Max Beckman and Ben Shahn. Longo himself taught from 1957 – 1967 at Bennington College in Vermont, a legendary Art Department that attracted Clement Greenberg and Color Field painters including Jules Olitski and Kenneth Noland. He also taught from 1967 – 2001 at Hunter College in New York City.
Citing Piet Mondrian as a dominant influence, Longo’s work with grids and centralized images also derive inspiration from Eastern philosophy, often the Mandala. Fascinated by the idea that Neolithic ornament could be the origin of abstraction, Longo alludes to ornament in many ways, including a multitude of fabric and textile-like patterns.
In the 1970s, Longo exhibited regularly in New York at the downtown Susan Caldwell Gallery and the Condesco Lawler Gallery, centers of Abstract Color Painting of that decade, and at the Andrew Crispo Gallery uptown. Two important retrospectives of his prints were held at The Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1970, and at The Leubsdorf Gallery in New York in 1995. A five-decade retrospective of his paintings and prints was held at The Hunter College Times Square Gallery in 2003 with an accompanying catalog, and interview with critic Michael Brenson.