57th Street Looking East is a beautiful black and white etching and aquatint of modern Manhattan by famed mural artist and printmaker, Richard Haas. The view, from Sixth Avenue looking east, is one the artist has painted several times. Haas worked on the print during a residency at the McDowell Art Colony in New Hampshire. The artist said he chose the subject because “there is no street quite like 57th Street.” In the vertical composition, the Fuller Building, the Ritz Tower and the IBM Building are seen in late afternoon sun with a rush hour traffic jam filling the busy street.
Haas became interested in printmaking in the 1950s while a student and is the subject of a catalogue raisonné by Marilyn Kushner entitled The Prints of Richard Haas, 1970 – 2004 (John Szoke Editions, 2005). He is best known for his architectural studies, which he began in the early 1970s with views that he saw out of his Broome Street studio’s windows in SoHo. However, architecture is also in his blood; his Uncle George worked as a stone mason for Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin, and Haas assisted him there for several summers in the 1950s. Indeed, the artist briefly considered studying architecture before settling on art and art education. His mural work, which has brought him international acclaim, began in the mid 1970s and has led to the creation of numerous trompe l’oeil masterpieces, such as his West Façade, Boston Architectural Center (1989) and Chisholm Trail, Sundance Square, Fort Worth(1989).
~ Gillian Greenhill Hannum ~
Block Museum of Art Northwestern University, Illinois
Delaware Art Museum, Delaware
The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, New York
Hudson County Community College Foundation, New Jersey
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts