El, Second and Third Avenues Lines, 1936


Silver print mounted on cardboard

24.4 x 18.7 cm (9 5/8 x 7 3/8 in.)

In a strong chiaroscuro a traffic lane runs all the way to the bottom of the composition, covered over the entire distance by an impressive metal bridge. The shadows and rays of light passing through it, cast on the ground, cover the composition like abstract motifs.

Berenice Abbott displays a keen sense of framing and composition in her massive photographic project "Changing New York" (1935-1939), to which this picture belongs. Prefiguring street photography and featuring the aesthetics of the documentary image, her shots of a changing 1930s New York hold a special place.

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.
Berenice Abbott's other artwork