Posts Tagged ‘New York artists’

A dazzling sunset from a West 23rd Street roof

May 31, 2014

“Sunset, West Twenty-Third Street,” completed in 1906, is another evocative take on the city by John Sloan, with a solitary figure, dramatic sky, and representations of daily life: laundry on a line.

Sloan had a thing for the triple combo of women, rooftops, and laundry, as these paintings reveal.


“A study of dramatic beauty and unexpected tranquility in an undistinguished urban landscape, ‘Sunset, West Twenty-third Street,’ displays Sloan’s ability early in his career to transform a utilitarian setting into a more sublime vista.”

Sloanheadshot1891That’s from the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, which has the painting in its collection.

“Although ‘Sunset, West Twenty-third Street’ could easily be understood as an image of an anonymous woman distracted from her laundry, the figure represented is the artist’s wife, Dolly, on the rooftop of the building that housed his studio.”

Where was his studio? At 165 West 23rd, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. Here it is today via Google.

[Photo: John Sloan, 1891]

Where Andy Warhol was shot in Union Square

January 4, 2013

Andy Warhol, 1966.Andy Warhol had three workspace-slash-hangouts he called his “factories” in Manhattan.

But it’s the second factory, on the sixth floor of the Decker Building (on the right) at 33 Union Square West, that gets the most attention. This is where Warhol mass produced his silkscreens and shot films from 1968 to 1973.

DeckerbuildingAnd in July 1968, it’s where he was shot himself.

If you’ve seen the movie, you know the story. The short version: 31-year-old Valerie Solanas (below), nursing a grudge after Warhol showed little interest in her screenplay, showed up at the factory around 4 pm. She pointed a handgun at him while his Superstar entourage was bustling about, according to Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties.

“No one showed any awareness of what she was doing until they heard the first explosive crack, which missed,” writes author Steven Watson.

Valeriesolanas“Mario Amaya thought it was a sniper firing at them from another building. Fred Hughes thought it was a bomb detonating at the headquarters of the Communist Party two floors above. . . . Andy was the first to realize what was happening and yelled ‘No! No! Valerie! Don’t do it!'”

Warhol crawled under a desk. Solanas’ second shot missed, but the third one, fired at close range with Warhol trapped, tore through his chest.

An ambulance brought him and Mario Amaya, who was also shot, to the old Columbus Hospital on East 19th Street. Initially pronounced clinically dead, doctors cut him open and massaged his heart, saving his life with a five-hour operation.


Warhol recovered, and in 1973 moved his factory (now under much tighter control) to 860 Broadway, just up the street. Solanas turned herself in, scored three years’ prison time, and died in 1988.

A rainy day in Murray Hill in 1928

November 19, 2012

This Martin Lewis etching captures the slick sidewalks and belching smoke on a gray and dreary stretch of the East 30s.

“The Thirty-fourth Street Armory at Park Avenue, now demolished, is shown in the print at right,” states Paul McCarron in The Prints of Martin Lewis. “It was a few blocks from Lewis’s studio at 145 East Thirty-Fourth Street.”

It’s the same armory depicted in Quarter of Nine, Saturday’s Children, a Martin Lewis etching from 1929.

What became of the chateau-like structure on the corner?

The slums of dark, forbidding Duane Street

May 17, 2012

Louis Comfort Tiffany—son of Charles Tiffany, founder of Tiffany & Co, the famed jeweler then located on Prince Street and Broadway—is better known for his lovely stained glass works.

But as a young man, he studied painting, and from his rented studio at a YMCA he depicted impoverished Duane Street in 1877.

The Belgian block paving is uneven and dirty; a wood frame building appears to house a plumber, while a man out front seems to tinker with potted plants.

It’s certainly not the Duane Street in posh Tribeca we’re used to today.

“Horse Drawn Cabs at Evening, New York”

March 8, 2012

In 1890, Frederick Childe Hassam depicted Madison Square, then a trendy, fashionable area, obscured by rain and twilight.

It’s not the first time he painted this stretch of the city in inclement weather.

The woman on the left has an umbrella, but the drivers of the horse-drawn cabs have to rely on their top hats to keep the rain away.

A Depression-era gang on Bedford Street

February 20, 2012

Another wonderful etching from Martin Lewis, this one titled “Bedford Street Gang” and dating to 1935.

The theater wall says “44th Street,” but this corner looks an awful lot like the intersection where Bedford Street ends at Christopher Street. The Lucille Lorton Theater is there today.

A windy, slushy Union Square in 1892

October 31, 2011

Frederick Childe Hassam’s “Winter in Union Square,” painted from 17th Street near Hassam’s studio, kind of resembles what Union Square looked like on Saturday.

Hassam frequently depicted New York streets in severe weather, like this one of pedestrians battling rain in Union Square.

A rainy day in Queens in 1931

October 3, 2011

Martin Lewis’ drypoint print, “Rainy Day, Queens,” captures light behind cloudy skies and in slick sidewalk puddles on a grim city day.

Does anyone have an idea where this is?

It’s moody and enchanting—and it sold at Christie’s for $23,750! I hope it’s not sitting in a closet somewhere.

The lonely vending carts under the elevated

September 8, 2011

Daniel Hauben’s “Mango Sunset” depicts a desolate summer evening under an elevated train and tropical fruit carts lacking customers.

Is it Upper Manhattan? The Bronx? If anyone recognizes the train tracks and the evening sun streaming through them to the street below, I’d love to know where it is.