As a central figure of the New York avant-garde in the first half of the twentieth century, Charles Sheeler contributed to a specifically American modernist style—Precisionism. This view of a modern farm foregrounds two silos for livestock feed that tower over a large stable and adjacent outbuildings. Set against a dusky pink sky, their twin silhouettes are doubled by abstract pink and light green planes “behind” the architecture. The complexity and monumentality of this small-scale tempera are the result of a pictorial operation Sheeler explored in 1946–53, prompted by two artist residencies in New England that provided opportunities to record and experiment with photographic images as source material for painting. At the time, Sheeler began to superimpose photographic negatives, generating images that were simultaneously representational and abstract.
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