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Larry Francis - The City in a New Light

  • Gross McCleaf Gallery 127 South 16th Street Philadelphia, PA 19102 United States (map)
_View from 15th and Vine__30_x30__oil on canvas_Larry Francis_2018 _2_.jpg

January 4 - 26, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday, January 4, 5 - 7 pm

My subject is the city, the world outside my door. These paintings are straightforward representations of the things I see. There is a bit of magic in the early morning light on a wall, the cacophony of colorful signs in a shop window, or along a thoroughfare, and the reflections of light sparkling on the river. All these bits of life, and the sense of human habitation within the city, are important to me. 

- Larry Francis

Many painters have captured scenes of everyday life, however, the paintings of Larry Francis are full of a glowing delight, derived from a fascination with the atmosphere of city life. Philadelphia is a frequent subject of his work, the pieces reflecting the personality of the industrial, yet often quaint, metropolis. Some of his paintings find nooks of the city that are serene; the secluded neighborhoods and parks that visitors do not always get the chance to see. Some are more active scenes; the bustling downtown areas and buildings that are more iconic to Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.


Francis uses gouache and oil paint to capture the light of the golden hour of the city with warm, luminous hues. He renders the most beautiful days in Fairmount Park, with crystal clear reflections of the sky on the water of the Schuylkill River. His paintings are refreshingly straightforward - nothing seems to be hidden - yet they often leave the viewer curious to learn more of the story. The joy infused into these works is infectious, and viewers might find themselves feeling nostalgic for a place they have never been.


Larry Francis has been showing with Gross McCleaf Gallery since 1982, and is currently an instructor in painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he studied from 1967 to 1971.