TO JAN. 31

Freud, it is said, once remarked that a cigar is sometimes just a cigar. But in Robert Longo’s “Freud Cycle”—a collection of 14 prints and drawings now on view at the David Adamson Gallery—keyholes are not just keyholes, and sculpted busts are not just sculpted busts. Longo’s dark, inky works are based on a series of 1938 photographs taken by Edmund Engleman of Freud’s Vienna office just days before the famous psychoanalyst fled, a step ahead the Nazis. A few years ago, Longo—known for his “Men in the Cities” series, featuring figures either in the throes of dancing or getting hit by a bullet—was given an old book of Engleman’s photographs, and it inspired him to re-create the images in his own hand. They “enabled me to (come 60 years later and a continent away) become the patient,” Longo explains in an accompanying catalog. Longo’s drawing style is as realistic as Freud’s theories are obtuse, yet the office’s emptiness—and its inevitable fate—permeates the entire project. (Open Door is pictured.) In Longo’s hands, the drapes are wonderfully velvety, the bookshelves are orderly, and the windows are overpoweringly sunny. But nothing in the series speaks as eloquently, or as enigmatically, as Study for Freud’s Apartment Door Peephole—a simple, smooth ring enclosing a circle of impenetrable blackness: One could just as easily be peering out of it as caught in its gaze. Freud would be proud. The show is on view from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays, to Saturday, Jan. 31, at the David Adamson Gallery, 406 7th St. NW. Free. (202) 628-0257. (Louis Jacobson)