Martin Lewis, ‘Relics.  [Speakeasy Corner.]’, 1928, The Old Print Shop, Inc.

Edition 100, recorded impressions 111. Signed in pencil. Image size 11 7/8 x 9 7/8” (30.2 x 25.1 cm). The location is Charles Street and West 4th Street in Greenwich Village. Speakeasy was the term used for a location where one could purchase alcohol during prohibition. Martin Lewis’ original title was “Speakeasy Corner” his dealer, Kennedy Galleries, asked the artist to change the title, likely because they did not want a backlash about advertising a Speakeasy.

Signature: Signed in pencil.

Image rights: The Old Print Shop, Inc.

The Prints of Martin Lewis. A Catalogue Raisonne. by Paul McCarron #74.

About Martin Lewis

A master of intaglio, Martin Lewis’s prints are characterized by the interplay of dark and light, evoking a film noir style that radiates an authentic New York City energy. The Australian-born artist spent much of his life in the United States, working as a commercial artist before devoting himself full-time to printmaking. Lewis incorporated elements of impressionism and tonalism, and his drypoint prints and graphite drawings elevate mundane city scenes, capturing both small moments of solitude and bustling crowds. Lewis worked briefly with Edward Hopper and influenced the painter’s cityscapes; although they worked in different mediums, the two shared similar artistic visions and goals. A seminal figure in the graphic arts of the 1930s, Lewis is regarded as one of the best printmakers of the 20th century, but he is largely unknown due to the small production runs of his works.

American, 1881-1962, Victoria, Australia