Woodcut on thin laid paper, 1943-44.
Trial proof, aside from an edition of 27.
It’s rush hour and a sea of people is holding on for dear life as the subway careens down the track. Letterio Calapai suggests speed with curved crosshatching lines circling the train car’s roof and sides. Bodies are tossed to the right, as the subway car seemingly rounds a bend. Calapai sketches the haphazard encounters commuters face on their way to work as fast rides jostle all riders in the same direction. The artist evokes not only the intensity of modern life in the metropolis, but he also hints at the turmoil and anxiety of the war raging far away from Gotham, yet on every New Yorker’s mind.
Signed, titled, dated, and annotated in pencil.