West Street, New York City


Irving Wolfson (b.1899), West Street, New York City, etching and drypoint with plate tone, signed, titled and inscribed in pencil  “ed 99.” In very good condition (with only the slightest hint of any light stain) on a cream laid paper with margins, 11 7/8 x 7 7/8, the sheet 15 1/4 x 11 1/4 inches, archival mounting.

A fine atmospheric impression.

Wolfson here looks at downtown, facing east from West Street (which lies close to the Hudson on the lower west side of Manhattan), and of course the most famous landmark from that vantage point at the time (and perhaps still today) is the Woolworth Building, which is the large building in the composition.

Wolfson was working in the tradition of Whistler, and later Pennell, leaving some ink in selected areas on the copper plate when he printed this (instead of wiping the plate clean), thereby creating plate tone (darker or lighter areas where more or less ink is left on the plate) representing areas of darkness and light, shadows and space.