Worker with a Drill, Moscow
"Worker with a Drill, Moscow," is a relief print, a linocut by Latvian born American printmaker Albert Abramovitz (1879-1963), created around 1935. The image measures 8-1/16 x 6-1/2 inches and is pencil signed and titled by the artist in the lower margin and initialed within the image at the lower right. It was printed by the artist in proofs only (under 25 printed) on a sheet of smooth, cream wove paper that measures 9-13/15 by 8-1/16 inches. This linocut was produced during the WPA period but is not listed in the GSA book "WPA Artwork in Non-Federal Repositories."
Abramovitz's subject is a laborer who was part of the work crew that helped dig the Moscow Metro between 1933 and 1935. Dressed in a slicker and rain hat, the worker holds a drill, surrounded by a complex structure of beams and pipes. The Moscow Metro, one of the deepest subways in the world, took two years to open the first of at least five stages that extended into the 1950s. The first stage was completed with the participation of the London Underground specialists.
Albert Abramovitz came to America in 1916 and in the 1930s he found employment with the WPA. He was a strident anti-fascist and much of his work had a political message. This impression is from the collection of artist Seymour Kaplan who worked with the Taller de Grafica Popular in Mexico.