58 cm x 40 cm (22 13/16 in. x 15 3/4 in.)
(Philadelphia, PA, 1883 - 1965, Dobbs Ferry, New York)
North America, American
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Michener Acquisitions Fund, 1969
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.