The Soul of the Soulless City (‘New York - an Abstraction’)1920 by Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson
Painted in a warm palette, the scene is illuminated by bright sunlight, imbuing the scene with a sense of purpose and anticipation, the buildings casting sharp, diagonal shadows. An intriguing pendant to the present work [referring to Looking Down on Downtown] can be found in New York – An Abstraction (later retitled The Soul of the Soulless City, 1920, Tate, London), which takes an opposing viewpoint to the present work, placing the viewer in the very heart of the city, gazing up at a succession of towering buildings, with clouds of smoke and steam drifting skywards. Although Nevinson’s enchantment with the city was not to last, Looking Down on Downtown captures the enthusiasm for this new world, one of dynamism, construction and progress.
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