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American Paintings - before 1950

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Still Life

20th century
58 cm x 40 cm (22 13/16 in. x 15 3/4 in.)

Charles Sheeler (Philadelphia, PA, 1883 - 1965, Dobbs Ferry, New York) Primary

Object Type: painting
Artist Nationality: North America, American
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Michener Acquisitions Fund, 1969
               Accession Number:                P1969.11.2             
Object Description: A stark white vase and its single yellow lily, both painted in sharp focus, sit in a window that echoes the surrounding frame. Beyond the deeply set window lies a desert landscape, its strange forms adding to the non-referential, timeless quality of Charles Sheeler’s Still Life. Sheeler was the primary creator of Precisionism, a distinctly American hybrid of modern painting that married French Cubism’s system of planes and flattened perspective with a photographic-like painting style. As its title suggests, Still Life is an example of Sheeler’s Precisionist method as applied to a centuries old genre of painting, but the work also recalls the dream imagery of Surrealists like Max Ernst and René Magritte.

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