El, Second and Third Avenue Lines, Bowery & Division Street, 1936
25.3 x 20.2 cm (9 15/16 x 7 15/16 in.)
The ghostly, chiaroscuro silhouettes of two men seen from behind stand out against an imposing metal subway viaduct’s graphic shadow at the bottom of El, Second and Third Avenue Lines, Bowery and Division Street, 1936.
Playing on stark contrasts between light and dark, this carefully composed shot attests to American photographer Berenice Abbott's concern for aesthetics. It belongs to her ambitious project "Changing New York", which she carried out between 1935 and 1939, relentlessly photographing the city’s streets, façades and people. Her challenge was to draw a part-artistic, part-documentary, socially objective portrait of the fast-changing city.
El, Second and Third Avenue Lines, Bowery & Division Street, 1936 was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the "Luogo e Segni" ("Place and Signs") exhibition at the Punta della Dogana in Venice in 2019.