25 COENTIES SLIP, JULY 20, 1957, 1957

graphite on paper
24.25 x 20.5 in.
(61.6 x 51.4 cm)

25 Coenties Slip, July 20, 1957 depicts the second building, a former ship chandlery, in which Robert Indiana lived after he moved to the Coenties Slip neighborhood, a three-block-long area on the East River at the southern tip of Manhattan. Once one of the broadest and busiest slips, commercial blocks were built along the adjoining streets to service the shipping industry. The area became increasingly abandoned as the city’s port activity moved to the west side, and its affordable rents began to attract artists looking for studio space. Indiana moved into the area in 1956 on the recommendation of Ellsworth Kelly, whom he had met while selling art supplies at E.H. & A.C. Friedrichs Company. Kelly followed him a few weeks later, and within the year artists including Agnes Martin, Lenore Tawney, Ann Wilson and Jack Youngerman were also living there.

Experimentalism characterized the work of the artists inhabiting the area, and the Slip’s historic environment frequently served as a source of inspiration both in terms of materials and subjects. In 1957, Indiana produced a series of drawings capturing life on the Slip, documenting its ships, streets, buildings and inhabitants. The area’s past as a center of commerce is evident in 25 Coenties Slip, July 20, 1957, with the names of the wares once sold there written boldly down the façade of the building. Partly visible on the ground level is the restaurant Rincon de España, which, Indiana recounted in an interview with Richard Brown Baker, catered to the Spanish Lines, one of the few companies that still docked on the East River. [1] To the left of Indiana’s building is 27 Coenties Slip, which had been leased by Youngerman and his wife Delphine Seyrig, who rented space to Tawney, Martin and Wilson.

 

[1] Oral history interview with Robert Indiana, 1963 Sept. 12-Nov. 7, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

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UNTITLED

UNTITLED

1945
UNTITLED

UNTITLED

1945
UNTITLED

UNTITLED

1945
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UNTITLED

1945
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TECH

1945
500

500

1945
BEAN BUD

BEAN BUD

1945
MENE MENE TEKEL

MENE MENE TEKEL

1955-56/1989
GINKGO

GINKGO

1957/1959
HUB

HUB

1957/2005
SOURCE I

SOURCE I

1959
THE SLIPS

THE SLIPS

1959-1960
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1960
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1960
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1960
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1960
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1960
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1960
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1960
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1960
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1960 - 1961
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1960-1961
MARINE WORKS

MARINE WORKS

1960-1962
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1960-1962
TWO

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1960-1962
JEANNE D'ARC

JEANNE D'ARC

1960-1962
BAR

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1960-1962
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1960-1962
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1960-1962
CUBA

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1960-1962
MELVILLE

MELVILLE

1961
BALLYHOO

BALLYHOO

1961
HARDROCK

HARDROCK

1961
WOMB

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1961
SLIP

SLIP

1961
GEM

GEM

1961/1984
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1962
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1962
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1962
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1962
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1962
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1962
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1962
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1962
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1962
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1962
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1962
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1962/1984
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1963
COLUMN LOVE

COLUMN LOVE

1963-1964
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1963-1964
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COLUMN EAT

1963-1964
FLAGELLANT

FLAGELLANT

1963/1969
LOVE

LOVE

1964
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LOVE

1964
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1965
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1965
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1965
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FOUR

1965
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1965
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1965
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1965
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1965
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1965
MODEL T

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1966
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LOVE

1966
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1966
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1966-1999
LOVE WALL

LOVE WALL

1966/2006
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LOVE

1967
APOGEE

APOGEE

1970
ART

ART

1972-2001
AHAVA

AHAVA

1977
MONARCHY

MONARCHY

1981
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FIVE

1984
MARS

MARS

1990
ICARUS

ICARUS

1992
EVE

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1997
AMOR

AMOR

1998-2006
COMET

COMET

2000