The stepped pyramidal form of the skyscraper reflects New York City's 1916 zoning laws which required buildings to be setback in specific increments when increasing in height. The buildings became known as "wedding cake architecture." Kennedy Galleries recorded 42 sales during the artist's lifetime at $36 each. [Current online price appears to be $14,000]
Despite renewed interest, this virtuoso of etching, of interplay between dark and light, a depicter of ‘film noir’ long before the genre was coined, before any cinematographer had captured a sultry image of its kind - remains an enigma. His technical brilliance, a wonder in itself; and he, recognised as a true master craftsman - a mystery. So may we shine a light on a nocturne, as those lamp-lit images did once long ago in the darkest backstreets of New York City. Let us drink a toast to Martin Lewis, lest his legacy be denied.
The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, staged an exhibition of Martin Lewis prints in October 2011 drawn from the collection of Dr. Dorrance Kelly. The Bruce Museum said of Lewis: "Recognized as one of the premier American printmakers of the first half of the 20th century, Martin Lewis left an indelible mark on the landscape of the art world. Lewis was an acknowledged master of the intaglio techniques of printmaking, experimenting with multiple processes including etching, aquatint, engraving and drypoint. A highly skilled printer, Lewis created magnificent impressions that captured the energy, bustle and occasional solitude of all aspects of city life in New York."
americanew yorknightusanew yorkdrypointprint33 x 20.7 cm