Walker Evans came to New York in May 1927 after traveling in Europe for several months. Living in Brooklyn, he took several jobs to support himself and began to consider the direction his artistic work would take. While deeply interested in writing, Evans continued to return to photography and upon meeting Lincoln Kirstein in 1929, things began to appear clearer. His work with Kirstein at Hound & Horn and the subsequent publication of three of his Brooklyn Bridge studies in Hart Crane's 1930 poem The Bridge, combined with his intense appreciation for the New Vision movement occuring in Europe, reinforced these tendencies.
In Walker Evans: The Hungry Eye, Evans' early New York abstractions are discussed, "The theme of the city in Evans' work arises from the time of these first images. And it is treated in the innovative spirit already pioneered in Europe: unusual viewpoints, steeply angled shots from above and below, shadow effects, contrasts, close-ups. Throughout his career Evans held to this spirit of photographic experiment, which he applied to the search for a new realism far removed from that of the Bauhaus. These first abstract images are more important for their referential connotations than for their originality. (Perspectives and oblique angles create a dynamic interplay of architectural surfaces against which Evans set his frontal, neutral, balanced vision.) Yet in these reflections of Cubism can be discerned a way of superimposing planes or incorporating signs into images that indicataes his future evolution." (op cit., p. 16.)