In this black-and-white gouache, Crawford documented the construction of New York’s famous building complex, focusing on the cranes and cables rather than the buildings themselves. He used white gesso to erase some of his initial ink marks, making the lines appear thinner and more deliberate. The ghostly remains of these lines are visible on close inspection, offering insight into Crawford’s process.
An undated photograph of a painting entitled Stacks and Wires appears related to this work. The photograph, by Peter A. Juley & Son, is in the Archives and Special Collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The current whereabouts of the painting are unknown. Poydras Street Coffee Wharf, 1939, in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, features a similar composition focused on a crane and several ship masts in New Orleans.
Estate of the Artist;
By descent to the Artist’s son;
Daniel A. Don, Chicago, IL;
[Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, New York, NY];
Private Collection, New York, NY;
[Owings-Dewey Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM];
Tulsa. Philbrook Museum of Art. From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Foundation Collection (February 8-May 3, 2015); Phoenix. Phoenix Art Museum (June 5-September 6, 2015); Santa Fe. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (September 25, 2015-January 10, 2016).
Corpus Christi. The Art Museum of South Texas. Masterpieces of American Modernism from the Vilcek Collection of American Art. September 13, 2018-January 6, 2019.
Agee, William C. and Lewis Kachur. Masterpieces of American Modernism: From the Vilcek Collection. London: Merrell, 2013, pp. 222-223, 240, 262, ill. on cover and p. 223.