Artwork Information

  • Title:

    Street Scene #4

  • Artist:

    Johnson, Lester

  • Artist Bio:

    American, 1919–2010

  • Date:


  • Medium:

    Color lithograph

  • Dimensions:

    29 15/16 x 22 5/8 inches

  • Credit Line:

    Wichita Art Museum, Gift of an anonymous donor

  • Object Number:


  • Display:

    Not Currently on Display

About the Artwork

Johnson’s prints feature the artist’s trademark image of vibrant, long-limbed young people in three-quarter profile striding in ranks along the streets of New York. His imagery is awash in color. Background tones of pink and salmon flood his scenes with warmth, lighting up the tropical hues of the many distinctive print fabrics worn by his Titian-haired women. Johnson’s people do not merely walk down the street, they oscillate. Swinging limbs and torsos to and fro in a zigzag rhythm that pushes, pulls, and expands against the picture frame, the figures exude vitality. Johnson lived and worked in New York City from 1947 to 1964 where he developed his distinctive style of figuration. The artist initially created a dark and menacing symbol of urban humanity in the stereotype of a shadowy-faced male figure dressed business suit and fedora. However, the entry of his teen-aged daughter Leslie into his art in the early 1970s literally and symbolically lightened his imagery. From then on Johnson focused upon themes of youth, sex, and fashion, replacing movement characterized by mechanistic ritual with a high-stepping dance rhythm.