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|The Prints of Luis Quintanilla:
A Catalogue Raisonné
|Catalogue Entry #: 57
Title: The Museum of Modern Art of New York*
Series: New York Prints
Edition: Currently Unknown (CU)****
Dimensions: 13 1/4 x 9 1/4 in. (34.3 x 22.8 cm)
Signature: See below.*****
Paper: See below.******
The proposed but never published book "Life in Manhattan" was intended to be Quintanilla's "poetic/artistic commentary on the myriad scenes" he encountered as he first experienced New York. The exiled artist arrived in the United States from facist Spain as the Spanish Civil War was ending and was fascinated by his new city, so different from Madrid and anything he had known in Europe (Quintanilla, Paul. Art and World of Luis Quintanilla).
As a precursor to this set of visual impressions of Manhattan, "the artist created at least 140 small sketches on scraps of paper," hasty studies performed as he wandered about the city. (To view a sampling of these sketches from Paul Quintanilla's website "The Art and World of Luis Quintanilla," please click here.) The only images actually intended for inclusion in the never published book are eleven lithographs, Museum of Modern Art being one of them. To view thumbnails of all eleven lithographs, click here.
*Title and other annotations: At least one impression of each of the "Life in Manhattan" lithographs is titled in pencil (hand-printed), l.l.or l.c. (here, one is titled l.l. and two are titled l.c.), just below the image. (See Figs. 1-3 below.) Although it is unknown if these titles are in the artist's hand, they were undoubtedly known to him and are hence accepted for this catalogue raisonné. Fig. 2 below shows a slightly variant title along with pencil signature. Of the eleven "Life in Manhattan" lithographs, only Museum of Modern Art and Rockefeller Center impressions have been observed with pencil signatures.
Detail of Image: The Picasso-like painting pictured in the image is titled "Seated Woman." (See below).
**Date: The c.1940 dating for Quintanilla's "Life in Manhattan" lithographs is currently based on the date, 1940, inscribed on the Museum of Modern Art's impression of this print. (See Fig. 3, above.) No other observed impressions from the series are dated, but as they were all created for the same project, the date of this one can likely be attributed to the others.
***Medium: MoMA's catalogue entry for its impression of the Museum of Modern Art from this series says, "Lithograph printed from two zinc plates." Given the similarity of technique found in all of the "Life in Manhattan" series lithographs, it is likely they were all made in a similar fashion.
****Edition: Very little is known regarding an edition number for any of the lithographs from the "Life in Manhattan" series. One or two impressions of each image exist in the estate of the artist, while only a few impressions of lithographs from the series have been located outside of the estate.
******Paper: The Museum of Modern Art impression of Museum of Modern Art is printed on heavy vellum-like paper.
Setting: The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York, was founded in 1929. MoMA moved to its current location on West 53rd Street between 5th and Sixth Avenues in 1932 and its present building was dedicated in 1939 -- very close to the time this lithograph was made.
Quintanilla came to the United States in January, 1938 primarily because The Museum of Modern Art was to mount an exhibition of his drawings of the Spanish Civil War. The exhibition opened in April and ran for a month. It then traveled to various museums around the country. (For further information about this exhibition, visit the Chronology on the website, The Art and World of Luis Quintanilla and follow the appropriate links.)
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