C.R.W. Nevinson, Looking through Brooklyn Bridge, a drypoint

United States of America, around AD 1921

New York as a modern metropolis

In 1919 Nevinson turned his back on the war art that had brought him widespread attention, declaring to the press: 'I have thrown over all war work... I hope to concentrate on modern industrialism, or anything connected with human activity in fact'. Nevinson first visited New York in 1919 and made a second trip in 1920, producing a striking series of prints and paintings that captured his fascination with the architectural high-rise of the world's most ultra-modern metropolis. This drypoint is a view through the suspension bridge towards the skyscrapers of lower Manhattan. Whereas a number of American artists such as John Marin and Joseph Stella had already depicted Brooklyn Bridge, a feat of suspension engineering, as a symbol of modernism, Nevinson was the first British artist to respond so enthusiastically to the American urban experience.

This print and another entitled Under Brooklyn Bridge (also in The British Museum) come from a set of ten drypoints of New York subjects commissioned by the American print dealer and publisher Frederick Keppel, who gave Nevinson his first New York show in October 1919. Although the New York subjects count among his most inspired prints, his style thereafter became increasingly conventional from the mid-1920s. As he declared in the introduction to an exhibition catalogue of his work in 1919, 'I wish to be thoroughly disassociated from every "new" or "advanced" movement'.

The British Museum has a representative holding of Nevinson's work, including a group of twenty-five prints on war subjects which he presented in 1918.

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C.R.W. Nevinson, Looking through Brooklyn Bridge, a drypoint

© 2001 Anne C. Patterson

 

More information

Bibliography

R. Cork, Vorticism and abstract art in, 2 vols. (London, Gordon Fraser Gallery and Berkley, California, 1976)

F. Carey and A. Griffiths, Avant-garde British printmakin, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)

R. Ingleby and others, C.R.W. Nevinson: the twentieth, exh. cat. (London, Merrell Holberton, in association with the Imperial War Museum, 2000)

C.R.W. Nevinson, Paint and prejudice (London, Metheun, 1937)

Dimensions

Height: 235.000 mm
Width: 175.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1924-2-9-28

PPA6222

Location

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