In On A Shaker Charles Sheeler Analysis

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Charles Sheeler photographed the abandoned textile mills of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in Manchester, New Hampshire and a decaying woolen mill building in Ballardvale, Massachusetts while doing artist-in-residences at Currier Gallery of Art and Phillips Academy Andover respectively. He superimposed these photographs onto one another, creating what he believed to be a more realistic view of his surroundings, Millyard Passage. For him, these superimposed images represented the memories with the present. One will always bring the past with them when seeing a new environment, and this was Sheeler’s way of representing this personal bias. Photography provided the perfect medium to link memory and observation. Sheeler’s lack of details is …show more content…
The audience can get a general sense of the subject matter, yet the exact perspective of the farmhouse is multi-layered. In this way, On a Shaker Theme reveals the Analytical Cubism that Sheeler was exposed to during his second trip to Europe. The fundamental premises of style that early Cubists Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso idolized were objectivity, truth telling, and freedom from dimension. Sheeler paints with almost invisible brushstrokes – it resembles digitalized graphic designs of today – in muted tones of blues, greys, purples and browns. Thin dark lines separate forms, yet ignore ordering. “All objects in Sheeler’s paintings are treated with equal gravity and sharp clarity, none is diminished in importance through placement or indistinct handling” (Friedman, 44). Your eye is not attracted to anything in particular, as Friedman points out, but rather the image as a whole. The geometric shapes are meticulously organized even though the overall image is abstract. Sheeler’s splintered planes create facets that blend with the background: the blue sky is broken up by windows and roofs impossibly cross paths. Every angle of the house is rendered simultaneously, leaving Sheeler’s audience to make sense of the …show more content…
These many folk structures are the soil, natural. Though often slight, their virtue is intimately related to environment and the heart-life of people” (Frank Lloyd Wright). Sheeler used his photography to combine the new American Machine Age’s with its roots. Sheeler’s paintings do not feel outdated fifty years later. Their lack of a personal signature or human figure keep them relevant. At first glance, Sheeler’s works are angler and cold, but these forms capture the beauty of Sheeler’s industrialized world. These lines that captivate the viewer and force them to remember, are realizations of human

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