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Contrasts - Rockefeller Center

Grace Albee, American, 1890 - 1985. Printed by Grace Albee, American, 1890 - 1985

In this print, Grace Albee explored the stark contrast between light and dark that often emerges in wood engravings. Here we see the bright glow of street lamps and illuminated apartment windows against the velvety black of the night sky. At the center of the composition, the floodlit tower of Rockefeller Center rises above the surrounding architecture. Construction on the complex was not complete until 1939 but would have been well underway when Albee created this work in 1934. The luminous effects of the new construction similarly contrast with the Gothic Revival–style church in the foreground, which is shown enshrouded in shadows.


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