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Martin Lewis
Dock Workers under the Brooklyn Bridge

c. 1916-18.

About the Item

Martin Lewis, N.A. (Dock Workers under the Brooklyn Bridge). c. 1916-18. Aquatint and etching. McCarron 15. 17 3/4 x 23 3/4 (sheet 26 x 31). 5 recorded impressions (including 4 trial proofs), plus a proposed edition of 100 issued by Kennedy Galleries in 1973 (50 impressions were printed). The plate is in the Detroit Institute of Arta. A rich proof printed on cream wove paper with full margins. Annotated '26/100' and signed 'Martin Lewis (L. D. L. 1973) by Louise Deming Louis, the artist's wife. Housed in a dramatic 26 1/2 x 31 1/2-inch black/brown wood frame. There are only approximately 5 lifetime impressions of this subject. In 1972, Kennedy Galleries, New York, planned a reprinting of this plate, with the consent of the artist's estate, to coincide with a major two-part retrospective exhibition of Lewis' work. The projected edition was 100; however after the first 50 were printed and sales were slow, the intended second 50 were never printed. The plate is in the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Paul McCarron writes: "This print has been dated circa 1916-18 based upon evidence from preparatory drawings as well as stylistic similarities to other prints from those years. There are two estate drawings (LDL-287 and -288) which, when placed together, illustrate a continuous sweep of the Manhattan skyline as viewed from the Brooklyn side of the East River; they were apparently done as studies for the background of this print. The drawings bear pencil inscriptions by Lewis: "East River Skyline/ (about 1918)" and "[N.Y.C. skyline E. River (about 1918)." In addition to the skyline drawings, there are five undated studies of single male figures (LDL-223-27), all on thin paper) that correspond to the main figures in this print." (page 67). The iconic Brooklyn Bridge is on the right. Paul McCarron writes: "This print has been dated circa 1916-18 based upon evidence from preparatory drawings as well as stylistic similarities to other prints from those years. There are two estate drawings (LDL-287 and -288) which, when placed together, illustrate a continuous sweep of the Manhattan skyline as viewed from the Brooklyn side of the East River; they were apparently done as studies for the background of this print. The drawings bear pencil inscriptions by Lewis: "East River Skyline/ (about 1918)" and "[N.Y.C. skyline E. River (about 1918)." In addition to the skyline drawings, there are five undated studies of single male figures (LDL-223-27), all on thin paper) that correspond to the main figures in this print." (page 67). The Bruce Museum said of Lewis: "Recognized as one of the premier American printmakers of the first half of the 20th century, Martin Lewis left an indelible mark on the landscape of the art world. Lewis was an acknowledged master of the intaglio techniques of printmaking, experimenting with multiple processes including etching, aquatint, engraving, and drypoint. A highly skilled printer, Lewis created magnificent impressions that captured the energy, bustle and occasional solitude of all aspects of city life in New York. When he moved to Connecticut in 1932, Lewis instigated another topic through his printmaking: country life. This firmly entrenched Lewis as a prominent America scene artist, who captured the intersection between the urban and rural environments and shed light on the slowly emerging suburban culture." Martin Lewis created iconic images that captured the energy, bustle and occasional solitude of all aspects of city life in New York.

  • Creator:
    Martin Lewis (1881-1962, American, Australian)
  • Creation Year:
    c. 1916-18.
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 26.5 in (67.31 cm)Width: 31.5 in (80.01 cm)Depth: 1 in (2.54 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
  • Gallery Location:
    Storrs, CT
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU33525432131
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