Sam Francis

Untitled, 1984

106.7 X 73 inch


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A Collector's Guide to Oil, Acrylic, and Watercolor

Robert Longo's 'Men in the Cities': A Dynamic Reflection of Urban Life

Robert Longo's

By Elena Fontaine, France

Robert Longo's "Men in the Cities" is an iconic series of lithographs that captures the essence of urban existentialism through dramatic portrayals of sharply dressed men and women. Created in the late 1970s, these images showcase figures in mid-action, their bodies contorted in dynamic, sometimes unsettling poses against stark, empty backgrounds. This series, initially derived from charcoal and graphite drawings, reflects the emotional intensity and complexities of city life.

The origins of "Men in the Cities" trace back to Longo's observations of his friends dancing to the song "Gloria" by Patti Smith. Captivated by their exaggerated movements, Longo photographed these poses, which he then transformed into the stark, expressive drawings that define the series. The figures, dressed in business attire, seem caught between motion and emotion, their frozen gestures suggesting stories of inner turmoil and the overwhelming nature of urban existence.

At Composition Gallery, we are delighted to present lithographs from this profound series. Each piece invites viewers to explore Longo's artistic vision and consider the deeper narratives embedded within these urban tableaux. "Men in the Cities" not only highlights Longo's mastery of form and drama but also serves as a medium for reflecting on the human condition in the throes of modern life.

By exhibiting these lithographs, we aim to celebrate Longo's contributions to contemporary art and spark discussions about the intersection of human emotion and the urban landscape. This series remains a compelling exploration of the ways in which art can mirror and mold our understanding of the world around us.

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