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Ralston Crawford

Third Avenue Elevated



Ralston Crawford (1906-1978)


Third Avenue Elevated




Gelatin silver print


Sheet: 10 × 8 in. (25.4 × 20.3 cm) Image: 9 1/2 × 6 1/2 in. (24.1 × 16.5 cm)

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Robert F. Crawford

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In addition to his Precisionist paintings of modern architectural and industrial structures, Ralston Crawford often produced photographs of these subjects. In Third Avenue Elevated, as in many of his photographs, Crawford sought to compress space and reveal the geometries of a specific site—here, the painted supports of an elevated train in New York and the endless permutations of light and shadow playing across the structure. As was his common practice, Crawford later translated the subject and composition of this photograph into a range of media, including drawing, painting, and the lithograph, Third Avenue Elevated #1 (1951). Yet he never doubted that his photographs were valid aesthetic statements in their own right.

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