Pier 18, North River, Foot of Murray Street 1938


Silver print

20.2 x 25.3 cm (7 15/16 x 9 15/16 in.)

The long façade of a warehouse on a New York pier on the North River stretches across the photograph’s width. The building is taken out of its context, free of human activity. It is a motif in its own right, acquiring an aesthetic and not simply a documentary dimension.

This print is part of the vast photography project Changing New York that Berenice Abbott tirelessly worked on between 1935 and 1939 with funding from the Federal Art Project set up by Roosevelt. Her aim was to draw a portrait of the burgeoning American metropolis with the demanding lens of her camera. Influenced by Eugène Atget, she took thousands of shots of vernacular buildings. No urban motif, not even an ordinary pier warehouse, escaped her gaze.

Pier 18, North River, Foot of Murray Street 1938 was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the 2019 "Luogo e Segni" ("Place and Signs") show at the Punta della Dogana in Venice.
Berenice Abbott's other artwork