Hailed as a master realist by critic Robert Hughes, Antonio López García carved out his niched at a time when the abstract was convention. Part of a vanguard of artists who espoused a return to the figurative form, López García came to prominence in the mid-1980s with his own unique meditation upon the universal human condition. In doing so he revealed a latent existentialism within his work. Creating individual bronze works one at a time, the artist waits years between their production, allowing for gradual progression in the figures, distinguishable in the subtle variations in their features. Lopez García use of bronze reflects the technical and visual characteristics the artist was able to apply to make each bronze unique. A contemporary of Eduardo Chillida, the two artists engaged in regular dialogue for years, sharing a mutual admiration and artistic sensibility of how sculpture should occupy space.
Cast from the artist's own body, Hombre stands with nobility in contrapposto. The stalwart figure in Hombre is an emphatic, sober iteration of the solitary man, his lifelike features and scale so vividly conveying a natural humanness. Approaching the sculpture, the viewer is immediately drawn into its exquisite detail, rendering it so uncannily real; they are left with the vivid sensation of engagement. The overall effect conspires to make the viewer momentarily suspend belief of the reality of this man, yet he remains detached, just out of reach.
Executed in 2003, the present work has been exhibited at the Guggenheim Bilbao in 2006, and was included in the artist's retrospective at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, in 2011 and the Museo de Bellas Artes in Bilbao, in 2012. Closely related is the wooden sculptures of a man and woman, Hombre y mujer, which form part of the collection of the Museo Reina Sofía.